Check out these unbelievable discoveries in the south pacific! This top 10 list goes from unexplained mysteries to strange and bizarre discoveries you have to see!
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10. Megalithic Gate
Prehistoric structures known as “Trilithons” have been found all over the world. Stonehenge in England is a great example. It’s made of two upright stones with a third, laying on top. However a more exotic location for a gate-shaped structure lies in the Tonga Islands. This group of 176 islands in the South Pacific is the home of the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui.
Translated as the “carrying stick” or “burden of Maui”, this impressive structure is made from limestone. It stands over 5 meters high and weighs around 40 tons. Like Stonehenge, its origins are ambiguous but are thought to date back more than 800 years. Legend states it was built by the Maui themselves for the King of Tonga in 1200 AD. Maui are demigods possessing immense power who sought to make Mankind immortal.
There’s also connection to astrology, with some believing it’s connected to solstices. No-one truly knows what the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui is there for, so maybe it’s best we just sit back and admire its megalithic beauty.
9. Million Dollar Point
The next destination is the island of Espiritu Santo, the biggest island in the Vanuatu nation. It’s where the Americans had a military base during World War II. After the conflict, the US decided their equipment and vehicles should be left behind. This was for logistical and economic reasons. Where this multitude of items ended up, was proof hostilities hadn’t quite ended, despite the laying down of arms.
The French, who were in charge of nearby Vanuatu, were interested in snapping up some surplus-based bargains. But they weren’t impressed with the idea of paying for the privilege. Hoping to obtain the leftovers for free, they played hardball. The US responded with the ultimate counter measure – they dumped everything in the ocean!
Clothes, Coke bottles, cars… even bulldozers were offloaded to a watery grave. The entire process took two days and culminated in an explosion when the Americans detonated the jetty they used to launch things into the deep. From that moment on the area became known as “Million Dollar Point” due to all the potential plunder on display. France’s loss became tourism’s gain. Why not go see this fascinating slice of military history for yourself?
8. Tree Lobster
When Briton Richard Howe became First Lord of the Admiralty, he inspired the naming of a volcanic rock island in the eighteenth century, Lord Howe Island. Knowingly or unknowingly, he also lent his name to an insect: the Lord Howe stick insect or “Tree Lobster”. This species is known for its tough exterior, which grows to around six inches long.
While his Lordship may not have been pleased about lending his name to a creepy crawly, he might well have marvelled at its survival skills. The Tree Lobster was thought to have been wiped out by a plague of rats which arrived unexpectedly on the island in 1918 following a shipwreck. The vermin ran rampant and supposedly killed all the insects.
However flash forward to 2001 and an amazing discovery was made on neighbouring Ball’s Pyramid, a triangular hunk of volcanic rock. Turns out a small number of the creatures had made their home in a tea tree there, showing that life really does find a way! Despite physical differences to their predecessors, such as skinnier legs, the insects were officially designated Tree Lobsters. If you’re in Melbourne Australia you can find them at the local zoo. And watch out next time you open that box of tea.
7. Vanuatu Skulls
There are some things about the South Pacific we simply don’t know. For a long time inhabitants of Efate Island in this region were believed to have been descended from the Melanesian race of Oceania. But this view was challenged in 2015 when researchers found non-Melanesian skulls in a 3000 year old cemetery. Looks like something Indiana Jones would discover!
The find indicated that Early Asians and Polynesians had arrived on the island prior to the Melanesians. These earlier visitors, known as Lapita, confused the modern establishment. Typically there should have been more evidence of them populating the island, though it appears archaeologists were wrong. It’s now thought the Lapita did far more than mingle with the Melanesians, giving rise to the people living there today.