These statues, which average 13 feet in height and weigh about 14 tons, were created between the 10th and 16th century by the early inhabitants of the island. These monolithic stone heads are baffling to researchers who cannot figure out why the Rapa Nui people went through such enormous efforts to create them or how they carved them with primitive tools. Another lingering question is what happened to the Rapa Nui people? Rapa Nui’s early inhabitants came from other Polynesian island to this one to build a unique culture away from any influences. One theory is that they may have built these statues to honor their ancestors but had to leave once they had completely depleted the island resources. Once a thriving culture, Rapa Nui is today almost barren, with no trees and most of its soil being washed away in erosion. All that is left are these enormous monuments as a reminder of human achievement and resilience.
Similar photographs were taken of Anita Ekberg and Sophia Loren, among others. According to The Guardian, Bardot's photographs in particular turned Saint-Tropez into the beachwear capital of the world, with Bardot identified as the original Cannes bathing beauty. Bardot's photography helped to enhance the public profile of the festival, and Cannes in turn played a crucial role in her career.
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An overused travel cliché says that the toughest places to reach are often the most rewarding. This cannot be truer in the case of Ofu Island in the remote US territory of American Samoa. One of mother nature’s finest pieces of work, touchdown on the beachside runway in Ofu signals the start of the weekly rush hour – as locals greet relatives returning from the main island with a big smile, government workers change shifts, and a few lucky tourists begin the vacation of a lifetime. On the menu? Jungle covered peaks hiding rare coconut crabs under the canopy, sleepy villages waking up only for Sunday church service, and a beach worthy of an Oscar – if only ‘The Academy’ would be aware of its existence.
The rays can be easy to miss as they blend into the sand below, with only their spots visible at first glance. But a tail flicks up and you can suddenly see the rest. Another iconic species to tick off your list. Flickering around the reefs you’ll also encounter schools of vibrant tropical fish, which make up a kaleidoscope of colors just below the surface. Giant fish might be spotted, such as sunfish and bacalao groupers. Then the Galapagos fur seals come out to play, dancing and pirouetting through the water, sometimes swimming incredibly close to your snorkel. There are even more unique sights, like Galapagos penguins and diving seabirds.
Diving Thunderball Grotto, immortalized in the James Bond movie Thunderball, and the black coral gardens of Bimini are not to be missed. The crystal clear waters of the Bahamas are the clearest in the world and offer fantastic visibility of up to 200 feet or more. Discovered by Columbus, exploited by the Spanish and plundered by pirates, the Bahamas now happily welcome visitors today. It is a great family vacation spot, with something for everyone: From fascinating historic tours and lavish resorts for ultimate pampering, to fishing, boating, kayaking, diving or doing nothing at all on one of the spectacular white beaches. Best tropical vacations: Best Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas.
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