A new Moai, one of Easter Island’s iconic monolithic statues, has been discovered in the bed of a dry lake in a volcano crater, according to the Indigenous community that administers the site on the Chilean island.
The statue is around 5 feet tall and was uncovered laying on its side. It was found by a team of scientific volunteers from three Chilean universities who were working on a project to restore the marshland in the Rano Raraku volcano’s crater.
The volcano’s laguna, or lake, began to dry up in 2018, the director of the Ma’u Henua community told The Guardian. This community manages the Rapa Nui national park, which includes the volcano.
Researchers told ABC’s “Good Morning America” it’s a smaller statue, and the team probably will use carbon-14 dating to figure out how old it is.
“This Moai has great potential for scientific and natural studies, it’s a really unique discovery as it’s the first time that a Moai has been discovered inside a laguna in a Rano Raraku crater,” the Ma’u Henua Indigenous community said in a statement on Tuesday.