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Could You Survive the Birdman Competition?

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»Easter Island

Could You Survive the Birdman Competition?

Short | 03:31

At some point in the mysterious history of Easter Island, its people began to worship a religious figure called the Birdman. And each year, several of the island's inhabitants competed for the chance to become him.

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The stone giants of Easter Island are some of the most recognizable statues on Earth, and some of the least understood. Why were hundreds of these enormous figures built, and how? And what prompted the Islanders to topple all of them to the ground, save for one? To answer these questions, our team of experts gathers evidence on the island and pores over a centuries-old eyewitness account. They also use modern analysis to decipher the symbolic code cut into the last statue standing, a carving that reveals a story of extraordinary struggle.

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