easter island statues tattoos
Easter Island Statue Project

Images from the excavation of Easter Island's renowned giant head statues has revealed that the monument's 'bodies' are in fact marked with detailed 'tattoos'.

Images of the 2012 excavation have spread like wildfire across social media over the past few days and the 10m tall statues appear to have intricate carvings on their bodies.

The art depicts images such as crescents which, according to the Mirror, represents canoes which was in line with the local Polynesians at the time.

The full bodies have been unearthed for over 100 years now, but because images have not been widely shared, many were shocked to hear that the head and shoulders also had torsos.

Images of the moment scientists first saw the markings have now been viewed on Imgur over a million times.

easter island statues
Easter Island Statue Project

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project, said at the time: "The reason people think they are [only] heads is there are about 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues.

"This suggested to people who had not seen photos of [other unearthed statues] that they are heads only."

easter island
The art depicts images such as crescents which represent canoesArian Zwegers/Flickr

The history of the settlement in the Pacific Islands is still a mystery. Colonisation took place in two phases, with the first taking place on islands such as Fiji and Tonga around 3,000 years ago.

The next phase took place around 1200CE, with settlers arriving on Tahiti, Easter Island and Hawaii. Why settlers moved across is unknown, however.