Easter Island - paradise lost

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 May, 2004, 12:00am

1. It has been confirmed that the mysterious giant heads of Easter Island were[1]..... there by dangerous aliens. The island has [2]...... puzzled visitors with the great statues on their platforms staring out [3]... sea, others lying on their side, and many more at various [4]..... of manufacture in a great quarry. How could the few islanders have created such wonders? There had to be a secret.

2. The story has now been pieced [5]..... A group of strange creatures arrived on the island. It was a beautiful, rich island with its own species of giant palm trees that could supply [6].... everything one could want, and great numbers of birds. The creatures used the trees to [7]..... large boats that could sail far out into the ocean. From them they could catch large [8]..... and dolphins. With such a good home, the number of creatures began to increase. They divided into different villages, and they began to compete [9].... show who was the greatest. They built giant heads of their ancestors, dragged them on wooden rails to their platforms and erected them. Every village [10]..... wanted bigger and better statues.

3. Somehow, they did notice that all their houses, boats, fires, construction work and tools [11]..... wood and that there were fewer and fewer trees [12]...... The creatures must have been very short-sighted. Suddenly, the forest had gone. The giant palms were [13]........ The birds had almost all been killed. The shellfish around the island had been eaten. One by one, the great boats became old and rotten and fell [14]...... They could not be replaced, so the riches of the sea could no [15]....... be harvested. No more heads could be erected. Indeed, angry people pushed some over. The ancestors had not brought blessings.

4. A terrible time of war and starvation followed. In the village rubbish dumps, dolphin bones disappeared. The creatures started eating one another; they [16]..... cannibal. Eventually, just a few, short, badly-fed individuals lived on the island surrounded by the great heads from their prosperous past.

5. This is a true story. The sad thing is those stupid creatures that destroyed their own environment were us.

A. Choose the correct word to fill the blanks.

1. put/putted/putting

2. long/along/long-lasting

3. at/on/to

4. types/stages/series

5. at/together/along

6. almost/totally/out

7. building/making/build

8. fish/fishes/fishing

9. to/for/at

10. chefs/chief/chiefs

11. made/used/worked

12. over/remain/left

13. extinct/extinction/extincted

14. pieces/apart/out

15. sooner/further/longer

16. turned/moved/adopted

B. What do you think is the general message of this passage?

C. Where is Easter Island?


A. 1. put; 2. long; 3. to; 4. stages; 5. together; 6. almost; 7. build; 8. fish; 9. to; 10. chief; 11. used; 12. left; 13. extinct; 14. apart; 15. longer; 16. turned

B. Protect the environment.

C. Out in the South Seas/Pacific Ocean