Two Men Made A Shocking Discovery In A Hawaiian Beach

There’s nothing like a relaxing holiday, especially if you are in one of Hawaii’s most unique and amazing beaches. These two American men were on vacation in Hawaii, far from the hustle and bustle of their Texas home town. However, they accidentally unraveled a mysterious secret that had been hiding on the beach for more than 400 years! Keep on reading this amazing story to discover the secret with us!

#20. The Hawaiian Archipelago

Hawaii is the newest of the 50 US states. It was admitted as part of the American territory in August 1959. Hawaii is also the only state of Noth America that is located in Oceania, being the northernmost island group in Polynesia. The state is formed by a group of islands called Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. Of course, Hawai’i is the most popular of all, and its name literally translates to “Big Island”.

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The capital city of the archipelago is Honolulu, and currently, almost one million people live there. The natural scenery of Hawaii makes it one of the most unique places in the world. The warm tropical climate, the vast number of breathtaking beaches, the enormous waves, and the intimidating active volcanoes make this place a popular destination for different types of tourists. What’s more, the American, East Asian, and Hawaiian influences make it a deeply multicultural state.

#19. The First Settlers

The state was named after Hawai’iloa, a legendary figure who was an expert navigator and fisherman. He discovered the islands for the first time in 300 AD, even before colonial America was instituted. Based on the archaeological evidence, in the 11th-century immigrants from Raiatea and Bora Bora first came to the islands, long before the English set foot on North America.

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Some historians say that the islands received a second wave of immigrants who came from Tahiti around 1000 AD. This new immigration wave changed the lives of the native people. First of all, because they introduced the kapu system, which is the Hawaiian ancient legal system and code of conduct; and second of all because they built a vast complex of heiaus, the famous Hawaiian temples.

#18. European And Asian Arrival

In 1778, the British explorer Captain James Cook arrived at the islands and documented his trip. Some historians say that Spanish explorers may have arrived at the islands two hundred years before Cook, but there is no archeological or historical evidence to prove that theory.

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However, the Chinese arrived in Hawaii the same year than the English explorers. And throughout the 19th century, there was a massive wave of Japanese immigration to the island. This helps to explain the fact that Asian culture is more deeply enrooted in Hawaii’s identity than European and native Indian culture. In fact, the majority of the population identifies as Asian and not as Native Hawaiians.

#17. The Island Of Oahu

Oahu is the third-largest island of Hawaii. It’s known as “The Gathering Place” and almost one million people live in this part of the island. There are two shield volcanoes in Oahu, the Wai’anae and Ko’olau Ranges. Without a doubt, these are must-visit places for tourists. But apart from the volcanoes’ beauty, it’s also a must-visit site for historians, because this island hides the most interesting secrets about Hawaiian history. 

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According to archeological evidence, the first population in the island dates from 300 AD. These people arrived from the nearby islands of Bora Bora and established the Kingdom Of O’ahu, and thus became the most ancient rulers in all Hawaiian history. But recently, a group of tourists discovered a secret that had been hidden in Oahu for ages, and that changed the whole history of the island.  Keep on reading to see what this was about!

#16. Two Normal Tourists

In 2016, two men from Texas named Mark Louviere and Lonnie decided to take a break from their chaotic Houston life and went on vacation to the archipelago of Hawaii. They had already been there before, so they were quite familiar with the place. But this time, they decided to stay in the town of Waianae, at Oahu‘s west coast.

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They declared that they choose the Polynesian area because they loved the weather, the warm and crystal-clear water from the beaches, as well as the islands’ unique culture. So even though they had been to Hawaii a couple of times already, they felt they hadn’t had enough. However, never would have they imagined that they would become part of the islands’ history.

#15. Accidental Discoverers

It was their first time at Oahu, so both men were eager to make the most out of their trip and visit as many sites on the island as possible. One day, they were walking through a nearly empty beach right before sunset. But you won’t believe what happened next.

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The sun was about to fade away when suddenly a ray of light revealed something unusual lying on the sand. Louviere and Watson found themselves staring at what looked like a petroglyph carved into some rocks right next to the coastline.

#14. A Stroke Of Luck

Both men realized how incredibly lucky they were. The sun was about to set, so if they had passed through that same site 15 minutes later, they wouldn’t have spotted the petroglyphs, not by any chance. Can you imagine the number of tourists who passed through that area and never saw them?

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In fact, during the following days, many tourists and local people declared that they had never seen these strange figures. Not even the beach’s regular visitors or the people who worked in the area. As Louviere and Watson declared to a Hawaiian station: “it was just a stroke of luck!”. Keep on reading to see what this discovery was about!

#13. Amazing Figures

The pair decided to get closer to the carvings and they found something unbelievable: there were more than 10 human figures carved in stones with more than five feet each! They were shocked by the discovery, and they immediately reported their findings to the local authorities.

These figures are unique around the world and most of them are located in the Islands in Eastern Polynesia. 

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It’s a lucky thing that they decided to resort to the local authorities because the truth is that tourists don’t always behave this way. Many of them damage archeological sites by touching them, walking on top of them, or stealing objects to keep them as souvenirs. Luckily, the twosome did the right thing.

#12. The Authorities Came

In case of a historical or archeological finding, there are protocols that authorities need to follow. First, the State Historic Preservation Division needs to perform a meticulous observation of the area and conclude if the archeological evidence found is real and if it hasn’t been discovered before. That’s why every country has its group of experts in archeology, anthropology, and history who are in charge of analyzing and studying any potential discoveries.

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An hour after the men declared this alleged discovery, the State Historic Preservation Division and the U.S Army showed up at Waianae and worked together. And indeed, they found that on the beach were more than 17 petroglyphs! Maybe many visitors and local people had already seen them, but it was the first time they were officially recorded.

#11. An Important Discovery

Some archeological sites are discovered meters and meters underground, and sometimes even under the sea. Fortunately, these petroglyphs were at the shoreline! But what is most amazing is that the majority of them were still in good conditions.

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The U.S Army archaeologist Alton Exzabe and a local resident of Waianae both declared that this was a unique case in the world because the petroglyphs were well conservated. During the following days, different archeologists declared the same thing. And as expected, the Eastern Coast of Waianae became a center of archaeological explorations ever since the discovery of these petroglyphs. 

#10. Many People Saw Them

Exzabe declared he frequented the beach since he was a little boy. When he was at high school, he read about Hawaii’s history and about the first settlers to ever set foot on the Islands, and when he grew up he took his passion for history to the next level and became a very famous archeologist. 

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When he was small, Exzabe had heard plenty of myths about unknown petroglyphs that were supposedly hidden around the islands. Maybe it was that curiosity what led him to become an archeologist. But he had always figured that these myths were a lie. Because Oahu is such a popular tourist destination, that he had always thought that these petroglyphs would have already been discovered by tourists if they existed. But destiny and history would end up proving him wrong.

#9.The Value Of Native Culture

According to Exzabe and his research team, the petroglyphs were up to four centuries old. And if we take into account that the Europeans had first arrived at the island during the second half of the 18th century, this meant that the petroglyphs had been created nearly 150 years before Captain James Cook first set foot on Hawaii.

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As a result, these archaeological findings gave a fascinating insight into Hawaiian culture and history before European colonization. Because many of Hawaii’s historical sites date from the pos-colonization period.

#8. The Importance For Local People

It’s important for people to know and learn about their descent because it’s part of their identity. Luckily, there are many historians and other experts that are able to trace back people’s families trees and that have the knowledge to decipher documents from the past.

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According to Glen Kila, a native Indian from Oahu, it is very likely that this discovery will allow the island’s inhabitants to learn about their descent. She also thinks that it’s important to interpreter the symbols of the petroglyphs because they will probably shed light on the genealogy and religion of the ancient Waianae tribes.

#7. The Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

The petroglyphs of Waianae were not the first one to be discovered on the islands. In fact, there are more than 200 archeological sites in Hawaii, and similar petroglyphs have been discovered in other South Pacific islands. But if you’re interested in immersing yourself in Hawaiian history, you can visit the Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, located at the north of Kailua-Kona.

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In this site, you’ll find more than 1.200 petroglyphs. However, part of the park is off-limits to tourists, and if we take into account those forbidden areas, there are 3.000 carvings overall. Experts have identified designs like paddlers, sails, marchers, dancers, family groups, deity symbols, and animals such as dogs, chickens, and turtles

#6. The Waikoloa Petroglyph Field

If you are interested in Hawaiian history and culture, you also need to visit The Waikoloa Petroglyph Field, located very near to The Puakō. The carvings found in this site kind of look like graffiti. You’ll find very particular figures such as humans, birds, and canoes. And this place also sheds light on Hawaii’s history.

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There are some figures that show a horse and a warrior, which proves that contact between the European explorers and native people already existed at the time. Thus, this means that the carvings found in this site aren’t as ancient as the ones found by the two tourists from Texas.

#5. Unique Characteristics

According to Exzabe, the petroglyphs of Waianae are unique not only because of the fact that they’re located on the shoreline but also because of the type of figures carved on the rock. These petroglyphs had hands and fingers, which are not typically found in the rest of Hawaii’s archeological sites.

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In addition, most of the petroglyphs around Hawaii are just a foot tall, but the length of the ones discovered by the tourists are more than five feet tall! Now, it’s up to archaeologists to decipher the hidden meanings behind these 400-year-old carvings. Unfortunately, there are other problems archeologists need to face…

#4.The Importance Of Preservation

Like we said before, it’s important to tell the authorities if you find anything that looks like an archeological site or object. But it’s also important to preserve it, for example by not touching any object from the area that needs to be studied. In the case of the petroglyphs, they can easily wear off if people touch them, as a result of the grease that people carry in their hands.

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Aware of this problem, Exzabe has declared in a television interview that it’s crucial for local authorities to preserve the area from human destruction. Because if not, thousands of residents and tourists will visit the site, and most of them will probably ignore the necessary precautions that need to be taken.

#3. The Preservation In The Future

There are human problems that archeologists and the U.S Army need to face but there is something they can’t handle: the forces of nature. When the tourists from Texas found the carvings, they were only covered by a bit of water. But several days after their discovery, the petroglyphs disappeared beneath the sand once again.

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Archaeologists realized that this had been the reason the carvings had not been discovered beforehand: they had always been covered by sand. The day the tourists had gone for a walk along the coastline, the sand had been worn off by the water. But now, the carvings had been covered once again by a thick layer of sand.

#2. Future Plans

However, Exzabe and his team warned the people not remove the sand from the carvings, because doing so could damage the figures buried under it. The only thing they could do was to wait for nature to do its part, and wait for them to be uncovered once more.

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The administrator of SHPD Alan Downer has declared that for now, they can’t do anything to study the petroglyphs but at least they have time to teach people to protect the area and learn more about the culture and history of Hawaii. In his words, this discovery“is an important part of Hawaii’s culture”. 

#1. Questions Unanswered

It’s important to understand the importance of petroglyphs for Hawaii’s history. There is no doubt that they shed light on the culture and history of the island. Some of them date from the 16th century, even before the Europeans came to America.

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As to the ones found in Waianae, there are still dozens of questions that remain unanswered. Why were they so large? Why were they carved so near the coastline? Why do the carvings from the other sites lack hands and fingers, unlike the ones from Waianae? Only time will tell. Let’s just hope that the whole Hawaiian society collaborates into protecting this recent finding.

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