The Navel of the World - Atlas Obscura

The Navel of the World

This large round boulder is said to emit spiritual power, but it may just be magnets. 


Rapa Nui is not short on marvelously mysterious stone structures what with the famous stone heads scattered across the island. But there is another baffling landmark called the Navel of the World which may be a font of spiritual influence.

On first sight, the Navel of the World appears to be nothing more than a large, rounded boulder placed among a crude rock perimeter. However, the mysterious stone was believed to have been brought to the island specifically by the first king, Hotu Matua. The name of the stone comes from the legend that it is the navel of the world, from which all life sprang, although this is more likely due to its perfectly round shape.

No matter the origin, the rock does display a few abnormal traits. For instance, when a compass is placed on the rock it loses its direction, likely due to magnetic elements in the rock itself rather than a more ephemeral cause. There are now four stones around the rock which were placed more recently and which represent the four sides of the compass.

Know Before You Go

9km north of Ahu Tongariki following the dirt road. Next to the Te Pito Kura ahu, the Navel is to the left.

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