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NOVA Programs

NOVA | The Mystery of Easter Island

Watch Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 9pm on WMHT TV.

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? NOVA explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory — serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.

Can scientists unravel the mysterious phenomena that lurk between Earth and space?

NOVA scienceNOW News

Five Reasons to Eat Insects

Save room for bugs! They're the future of green cuisine.

Profile: Shaundra Daily

This software engineer and dancer found her groove teaching children about their emotional lives.

Nature follows one of the most fearless animals in the world: the honey badger.

PBS Nature News

Snow Monkeys: Behind The Scenes: Making of Snow Monkeys

Pontecorvo and his wife Nimmida Pontevorco followed an individual snow monkey troop of over 160 members for over a year to truly get to know these fascinating creatures.

Snow Monkeys: Video: Monkey Babies Start to Explore

As winter months fade away, the forest becomes a nursery for this troop of snow monkeys: The newborns are full of energy and curiosity, and are blissfully unaware of dangers or troop politics.

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