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Chile | High hopes for Rapa Nui (Easter Island) MPA on eve of official establishment

Stone heads loom in the imagination of most people when they think of Easter Island. Known as Rapa Nui to its inhabitants, who also go by the name Rapa Nui as a people, the island sits in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) west of Chile. Like the mysterious stone Moai that line the landscape, there is more to this place than is visible from the surface.

Some 142 marine species found nowhere else on Earth (27 of which are at risk of extinction) and 77 percent of the Pacific’s fish abundance thrive in the waters around Rapa Nui. An expedition in early 2017 uncovered even more species, some new to science, in the depths surrounding the island, many of which were striking shades of red and orange.


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