Field of Science

Collapse !

"Anyone who thinks that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."
Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993), American economist

The plot of the movie "Rapa Nui" (1994) is based loosely on native legends and the hypothetical collapse of environment and society on the remote island of Easter Island. This scenario is based primarily on the discovery during an archaeology expedition prior to 1961 of unknown palm-like pollen in sediments of swamps and lakes of the island - which today lacks completely native shrubs and trees.
The movie does compress more than 1.000 years of history in just one and a half hour, presenting a fast and sudden collapse of a highly developed society.


  1. Please read "The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island" by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo (Free Press, June/2011). It is the most thoroughly researched, scientifically credible book ever written on the subject. It completely demolishes Jared Diamond's collapse hypothesis for the island. It is an absolute must-read that revolutionizes the study of ancient Polynesia.

  2. I haven't seen it but remember the quote from the film critic who followed his (unflattering) review of Rapa Nui with another, this time some cheap boyz n'the hood type knock-off: "... and now from Rapa Nui to rap ennui".
    Well, I laughed.

  3. I hope to get the book as soon as possible - there is a sample of the audiobook available online

    There is also still a fierce discussion on the topic of Rapa Nui:


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