Easter Island - Europe
Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui), is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile annexed in 1888, Easter Island is widely famous for its monumental statues, called moai (pronounced /'mo?.??/), created by the Rapanui people. It is a world heritage site with much of the island protected within the Rapa Nui National Park.
The name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday 1722, while searching for Davis or David's island and named it Paasch-Eyland (18th century Dutch for "Easter Island"). The island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means "Easter Island".
The current Polynesian name of the island, "Rapa Nui" or "Big Rapa", was coined by labor immigrants from Rapa in the Bass Islands, who likened it to their home island in the aftermath of the Peruvian slave deportations in the 1870s.However, Thor Heyerdahl has claimed that the naming would have been the opposite, Rapa being the original name of Easter Island, and Rapa Iti was named by its refugees.
There are several hypotheses about the "original" Polynesian name for Easter Island, including Te pito o te henua, or "The Navel of the World" due to its isolation. Legends claim that the island was first named as Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, or the "Little piece of land of Hau Maka". Another name, Mata-ki-Te-rangi, means "Eyes that talk to the sky."