The ruins of the "Birdman" cult are scattered throughout Easter Island.
As tribal rituals go, that of the Birdman on Easter Island is right up there with the stuff of Hollywood.
Each year, contestants were selected as competitors for the title of Birdman. Each contestant would then sponsor a representative of their choosing who would be challenged to scale the dangerous face of the Rano Kau cliff, then swim shark-infested waters to the small island of Motu Nui. There, the task was simple: find eggs laid by the elusive Sooty Tern.
The first to find an egg for their sponsor was declared the winner. In turn, the sponsor (but not the one who did all of the work) would be crowned as the Birdman, or Tangata-Manu. The title allegedly earned the victor and his clan got all of the benefits of a god while he held the lofty title.