Easter Island, a lonely Pacific islet in 27° 8' S. lat., and 109° 24' W. long. Discovered by Roggeveen on Easter Day 1722, and visited in 1773 by Captain Cook, it is 47 sq. m. in area; is entirely volcanic, with many extinct craters rising more than 1000 feet; and is fertile, but badly off for water. Sheep and cattle grazing was started by a French firm in Tahiti, after the departure in 1878 of the missionaries, with 300 natives (fair Polynesians), for the Gambian Archipelago, 500 having been shipped to Tahiti four years earlier, and most of the adults kidnapped by Peruvians in 1863 to work the guano deposits. Thus the pop. has dwindled from 3000 to 150. The 555 rude stone statues, for which Easter Island is famous, are thought to have been effigies, not idols. Thin-lipped, disdainful of aspect, and capped by crowns of red tufa, they are 3 to 70 feet high (16 on an average), and stand on seaward platforms, 200 to 300 feet long, of cyclopean masonry. There are besides nearly a hundred stone houses with walls 5 feet thick, and interiors bearing paintings of birds, animals, etc. In September 1888 Chili annexed Easter Island for a convict settlement. See Thomson's Report of the U.S. National Museum (Wash. 1892).