The world was shocked to discover the famous Easter Island heads actually had bodies attached.

Now new pictures have emerged showing their previously hidden torsos are covered with intricate tattoos.

Easter Island

These include crescents carved on the backs of the towering monoliths, which academics say represent the canoes of the Polynesians who made them.

The world was shocked to discover the famous Easter Island heads actually had bodies attached.

Now new pictures have emerged showing their previously hidden torsos are covered with intricate tattoos.

These include crescents carved on the backs of the towering monoliths, which academics say represent the canoes of the Polynesians who made them.

Easter Island2

The first photographs of the hidden torsos emerged in 2012, two years after Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project , began excavating the monoliths with the help of local Rapa Nui people.

She said: “The reason people think they are (only) heads is there are about 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues

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This suggested to people who had not seen photos of (other unearthed statues) that they are heads only.”Archaeologists have studied the statues on the island for about a century, and have actually known about the hidden bodies since the earliest excavations in 1914.

The 887 giant statues – which are up to 10 metres tall and weigh more than 80 tonnes – were carved from volcanic rock by ancient Polynesians some time between AD 100 and 1800.
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Their significance is not fully understood but they are believed to represent important tribal figures or ancestors.

It is thought the bodies would have been originally displayed in all their glory but that centuries of exposure to the elements caused them to be buried under layers of silt until only the heads remained visible.

The new images have already been viewed 691,232 times on the social media site

Read more at Mirror Uk