post-foo The Thoughts and Sayings Of Baba Doodlius: Heads on the Rock

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Heads on the Rock

Greetings all you Freckle-faced Tots of Inquisitiveness peering longingly through the window of the Candy Shop of Knowledge at the mouth-watering, sugary Treats of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe

My regular readers (all six of you) may have noticed that I have not been around of late. For this I wholeheartedly apologize, and as way of excuse I'd just like to point out that it's hard out here for a bird. And there are, oddly enough, some places on this planet that are completely without any internet access, like, for example, Baba Sr.'s house.

Baba Sr.: "Consarnit, I can't even get the dag-gum clock on the VCR to quit flashing '12:00', and they gots to go invent that there new-fangled 'Internet' thing!"

All that aside, I'm not here to bitch and moan that life is tough, I'm here to Reveal Mysteries of the Universe! So without further ado, I present the Revelation of today's Mystery (by special request of that poetry-slingin' human Poetikat), the Secret of

Rapa Nui!

Rapa Nui is an extremely isolated island in the South Pacific, located about 2,000 miles from anything. (Have you heard the expression "it's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there"? Well, Rapa Nui really is the end of the world). The name "Rapa Nui" is Polynesian for "Big Head" (I made up half of that; it is left as an exercize for the reader to figure out which half), which is appropriate because this island, similar to Hollywood stars and corporate CEOs, is famous for big heads. The Rapa Nui heads, however, are made of rock rather than ego.

A bunch of famous Big Heads on Rapa Nui, Donald Trump, and Alec Baldwin

Let me jump back a step and start at the beginning of this Mystery.

The first European to reach Rapa Nui was a Dutch sailor named Jacob Roggeveen. Rumor has it he was searching for a good supplier of marijuana, or possibly some employees for a new business in which he was a partner. Whatever the case, he sighted the island on April 5, 1722, which happened to be Easter Sunday, and therefore he named the place "Island of Why The Heck Do I Have To Be At Work On Easter Sunday". Ha Ha, actually he named it "Easter Island", because he found there herds of happy bunnies that brought colored eggs to the natives.

This scene was fairly common on Rapa Nui in the early 1700's

The most intriguing aspect of this island as noted by Captain Roggeveen was the presence of huge stone heads that dotted the coastline. These monoliths, some standing over 7 meters in height and weighing over 30 tons, had apparently been erected by the local islanders, a group whose technological achievements did not include any metal working or the use of the wheel.

I'll put up another pic of a Rapa Nui head because they're just so darned cool

So how did such a supposedly primitive culture manage to carve huge slabs of rock into the shape of people's heads and stand them up on platforms all over the island? For centuries foreigners have asked the locals this question, and the conversations tended to go like this:

European Guy: "So, how did you islanders manage to carve these huge stone heads and prop them up next to the ocean?"

Rapa Nui Guy: "Ia orana, ua ite oe i te parau Rapanui, tane?" *

EG: "I have no idea what you're trying to say. I think I'll enslave you and spread European diseases throughout your population."

RNG: "Raho popa'a!" **

* - "Hello, do you speak Rapanui, sir?"
** - "Damn foreigner!" (or something like that)

As one can imagine, the whole slavery and disease thing didn't exactly endear the Europeans to the Rapa Nui locals. The lack of trust and the inability to understand each others' languages caused the visitors to remain completely in the dark about the origins of the big heads. So naturally, this means I had to do my own darned investigation. As usual.

What with energy prices going through the roof, I decided it would be better to forego the typical use of the Reverse K.E.G. Process to get to the bottom of this Mystery. (Hey, even us birds have to scrimp a bit in these trying economic times.) I had to resort to good ol' fashioned detective work and insight! Join me, if you would, in this fascinating journey into the world of forensic analysis!

Turns out this Mystery was way easier to solve than I excpected. I simply took some close-up photos of the big heads and took a couple samples of them back to the Bird Cave for analysis. Here's an extreme close-up pic of one of the heads:

Look how porous that rock is. Interesting! I began to formulate my theory, which was backed up by the laboratory analysis of the samples:

To those few of you not well-versed in organic chemistry, the chemical found in trace quantities in the Rapa Nui heads is... Sugar!

So let's see... a porous material... containing lots of sugar...

The Rapa Nui heads are not natural rock! They're petrified marshmallow!

The original inhabitants of Rapa Nui are the inventors of marshmallow! Their invention, being not only yummy but also easy to work with, was the perfect material to use in fashioning huge head sculptures. These sculptures were so easy to make and transport that they put up dozens of them all over the island! Unfortunately, the islanders had to coat their sculptures with protectants to keep them from dissolving during rainstorms, and this led to a rapid fossilization process of the building material. Very little of the original marshmallow remains, having been replaced by the minerals used to protect their creations.

An obscure note from Captain Roggeveen's log book provided final proof of this theory:

"Captain's Log, April 6, 1722: I cannot understand a single word these island folk say to me, but they have given myself and the crew a delicious gift which is apparently a local delicacy: tiny birdlike sculptures made of some sort of air-puffed sugar! Such a novel idea! In commemoration of the discovery of Easter Island, I shall distribute to all my friends facsimiles of the islanders' gift on the anniversay of sighting this land!"

And thus was the tradition of giving the gift of Marshmallow Peeps on Easter established!

Aren't the little details of history just fascinating?


Poetikat said...

BD, You've done it again! I would never have dreamed that marshmallow was the material used for Easter Island, but it makes so much sense. Do you think the inhabitants roasted them over fires as well?

I've never had a Marshmallow Peep - are they good?

Thank you for solving this mystery that has always baffled me. I can relax now. Just one thing, how do you explain why they all look so much like John Travolta? Or do you think it has something to do with Scientology?


The Topiary Cow said...


Cow is once again awed by the mighty intellect of Baba.

The Donald, Easter Island, Marshmallow Peeps...

The only fit way to celebrate this historic discovery is with a long fork, a square of graham crackers, and a nice melty marshmallow to make smores.


Gorilla Bananas said...

And I bet the faces were quite handsome originally. Petrification results in hair loss, frowning and sticking your lips out as if your mother glued them to a window.

The Topiary Cow said...

Only GB would know this!

(Cow is frightened to think of exactly how GB does know...


InnerNinja said...

easter peeps will never be the same... glad to trace back the origins to such significance!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

What?!?! No aliens?

AZZITIZZ said...

Hey Doody,

Welcome back, you have been missed!
Hope you had a nice time with Dada Baba.

There is a question on your last post from my Lil'Sis about the number zero that she would like you to answer, and here's the latest doozy of a question.....

How come, when you put on weight it knows exactly where to go? In other words, why do both your arms or legs get fat and not just one?
How does the fat know how to distribute itself evenly around the body??????
Why doesn't gravity make it all go to your ankles?????

Awaiting your wonderous explanations with baited breath.


AZZITIZZ said...


For some reason I seem to have acquired an urgent craving for marshmallows??????


Un[Censored] said...

Hey BD,

It's Crys from (formerly)"People are AWESOME".

It's good to see you posting :) I was afraid you had fallen off of the face of the planet...

Then we'd have no one to solve that mystery:(


Baba Doodlius said...

Poetikat: If they didn't roast them over a fre, they were seriously missing out. Mmmm... roasted maaaaaaarshmallows! As to your other questions: 1) You're not really missing anything - modern Peeps are not all that great in flavor. They are indestructible, however. 2) John Travolta not a real human; rather, he is a poorly-made automaton modeled after the Rapa Nui heads. That's a bonus Secret of the Universe, no extra charge!

Cow: Smores are yummy, but don't they make a terrible mess in your leaves?

Innerninja: I was pretty happy with this discovery myself.

Squirrel: As I've said before, aliens don't find us that interesting so they don't feel the need to visit.

Azzy: Nice to be back. I'll get to those questions shortly. Enjoy your marshmallows!

Crys: Nice to have you back in the blogging world!

Baba Doodlius said...

Gorilla: I gott second Cow on this one, GB - how might you have upon such knowledge about the petrification process?

Marja said...

Yum I would like to eat some of these heads. Does the Ronald Trumph head still taste sweet or can't you eat him either.
And why does everybody think that the Dutch are always out for drugs Rubbish He was just looking for easter eggs suppliers

Baba Doodlius said...

Marja: I don't think it would be wise to chew on Donald Trump - that's a bad case of indigestion just waiting to happen. And that whole marijuana thing? Somehow I *knew* you'd comment on that! I don't suppose you clicked on the link for his "new business", did you? :)

moooooog35 said...

That closeup of the rock looks suspiciously similar to Edward James Olmos.

Interestingly, Edward James Almos has won BOTH a Golden Globe AND Emmy Award...

...of which these heads bear a striking resemblance.

By the way, the awards for for "Miami Vice."

Why is this important?

Because both "Miami Vice" and "Rapa Nui" contain the letters "a" and "i".


Yeah, probably.

I'm guessing this may go deeper than just marshmallows my friend - and into the realm of Edward James Almos worship.

He's also doing a voice-over in the upcoming film, "Beverly Hills Chihauhua" - but I fear that he may be passed over for an award on this one.

Poetikat said...

Thanks for that extra tidbit, BD.

Hey come on over and check this out:

Join the party if you want to!


The Topiary Cow said...

(Cow trying to disentangle melted marshmallow from Topiary)

Cow would humbly like to point out that Baba D appears to have many more than six regular readers...


Linda and her Surroundings said...

Baba: Do you think the heads were once pink? Or did they make brown marshmellow? Maybe they used brown sugar in the making of the marshmellow. Mmmmm, it would yummy if they made chocolate marshmellow heads. Thinking about it, the landscape would have been rather pretty with pink and yellow marshmellow heads in a row on a wind swept plain.

Baba Doodlius said...

Mooooooog: OK, that's one vote for John Travolta and one for Edward James Olmos. Anybody else think the heads look like a famous actor?

Poetikat: Wow, you're doing *another* blog? You're so prolific! How many can you do? I have enough trouble with just one!

Cow: I'm still amazed I have any, what with the stuff I put up here.

Linda: That would be nice, with pink and yellow giant heads next to the crashing surf. When I can afford gas for the Reverse K.E.G. machine I might check that out.

Lydia said...

Hello Baba Dudlius,
It's amazing how these islanders carved these huge heads out of
rock. It must have took them a life time to complete just one of these heads!

Baba Doodlius said...

Lydia: I think it's more amazing that they invented marshmallow - and didn't even eat all of it.

Poetikat said...

Dood, Thanks for your well-wishes for my folks.

Hey, check out the new Culture clips post - it's thrilling!


cathy said...

I didn't know what marshmallow peeps were, so you solved 2 mysteries for me.

As for visitors I may not be regular but I do visit AND you are on my links list. You are appreciated.

Baba Doodlius said...

Cathy: I appreciate your visits, and I appreciate being appreciated! By the by, you really haven't been missing anything with teh Peeps - they may have been yummy when first invented by the islanders, but modern ones are barely even classified as food.

lin said...