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While we were exploring Floreana Island in the Galapagos, our naturalist guide took us past a large rock carved in a similar manner to the carvings found on Easter Island.

You’ve probably seen pictures of the large freestanding stone heads scattered all over Easter island. So we were intrigued to see one on the Galapagos islands and we wondered how it got there and who could have made it. Could it have been people from Easter island? How did they get to the Galapagos?

galapagos rock carving

Large rock carving on Floreana Island, Galapagos

Just A Bit Of Fun

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Having a little fun with the large stone head-carving.

Our guide had a sense of humor and led us to believe that maybe it was made by some mysterious travelers a long time ago. So for the rest of the trip that possibility was in the back of our mind. As it turns out he was just having a bit of fun.

The carving was actually made by the Wittmer family, one of the first families to settle on Floreana. I read in the book “Floreana” by Margret Wittmer that her husband Heinz carved it while giving carving lessons to their children. They had fun showing it to Thor Heyerdahl in 1953 when he visited the island hoping to find evidence of pre-Incan culture.

So if the Wittmers had fun with it, it only seems fair that our guide could have a bit of fun as well.

We had some fun with the carving as well…

Other Carvings On Floreana

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Side profile of the rock carving on Floreana Island

There are no other carvings of large stone heads in the Galapagos Islands, but there are other carvings.

On Floreana there are caves carved into the rock. They were carved by pirates and used many years later as temporary shelter for the Wittmer family when they arrived on the island.

It was interesting to see the caves and picture the pirates there. Our daughter gets very excited when anyone starts talking about mysteries, pirates and early explorers. So she was also curious about the history behind the caves.

Thinking of Mr. and Mrs. Wittmer along with their son taking shelter in them while they worked the land and built their first home was interesting as well. They would have really been roughing it!

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Pirate Caves on Floreana Island

But picturing being cuddled up in there on a warm still night with a candle flickering on one of the stone shelves, and being out of the wind and rain during a storm helped make the caves a little more welcoming than they first appeared to be.  Thinking about the Wittmers staying in those caves made me very happy that we were staying in the cozy little cabins down by the water.

Have you seen the stone carvings on Floreana Island? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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