Easter Island is an isolated piece of land in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. For such a tiny speck, it holds an unusually large number of unsolved mysteries. The most famous is the mystery of the moai—statues of stern faces carved out of giant stones. Experts still aren’t sure how the people on Easter hauled these huge objects to their locations, often far from any beach. Another puzzle is why the population of Easter Island dropped from a peak of tens of thousands to just a few thousand in less than a century. And yet another mystery—one that might contain clues about Easter Island’s past—is the Rongorongo tablets. Rongorongo is a system of writing made up of pictographs—pictures that stand for letters, words, or ideas—carved into wood tablets. Many of these pictographs seem to show animals, plants, and people. European explorers and religious missionaries visiting Easter Island in the early 1800s took note of the unusual tablets. In an attempt to get rid of the native religion, they banned the writing. By the time outsiders became interested in what the pictographs meant, most of the tablets had been destroyed, and not a single native of Easter Island could read the ones that remained. Today, the last examples of Rongorongo are in museums and collections. Scientists who study writing and language guess that most Rongorongo texts are religious. However, they have little idea what the pictographs mean, partly because so many of the pieces needed to solve the puzzle are missing. Solving the mystery might provide important clues about the native people of Easter Island. Someday, we could learn how and why they carved the moai heads and why their population collapsed.