Do you think Elon Musk is a Lurking Beyond fan? We just wrote about alien conspiracy theories, and then the Tesla and SpaceX CEO went and tweeted that aliens built the pyramids.
If anybody has inside info on extraterrestrial life, you’d think it would be Elon Musk. The visionary billionaire has launched more stuff into space than most governments (including his own Tesla), but he might believe one of the oldest conspiracy theories about aliens.
Then again, this is the guy who said he would enthusiastically vote Kanye for President and tried to name his child X Æ A-12. Maybe we should take his opinion with a very large grain of salt.
On Friday, Musk tweeted, “Aliens built the pyramid obvs.” Was he joking? Over half a million people liked his tweet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with him. Judging by his follow-up posts, it looks like he was trolling.
Musk added, “Ramses II was [smiley face with sunglasses],” followed by links to the Wikipedia article about the Great Pyramid and a BBC article explaining how the structures were actually built.
The previous day, he also tweeted the video for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
Did you know that Bonnie Tyler damaged her voice after getting surgery for nodules on her vocal chords (just like Adele), and that’s how she got her trademark husky voice? True story–no aliens involved.
But back to Elon Musk and the pyramids.
Egypt’s Minister of International Co-Operation, Rania al-Mashat, reached out on Twitter to school Elon Musk.
“I follow your work with a lot of admiration. I invite you & Space X to explore the writings about how the pyramids were built and also to check out the tombs of the pyramid builders. Mr. Musk, we are waiting for you,” al-Mashat wrote.
Pretty sure that Musk can afford his own trip to Egypt. I’ll take it, though.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass couldn’t resist getting into the fray, calling Musk’s statement a “hallucination.”
“I found the tombs of the pyramids builders that tell everyone that the builders of the pyramids are Egyptians and they were not slaves,” he said. Hawass got salty about it, taking to Facebook to rant against Musk’s cheap ploy for attention.
It’s almost impossible to fathom that a civilization managed to build the pyramids over 4000 years ago without any modern equipment. Given how many structures from antiquity were lost to time, it’s remarkable that the pyramids have endured.
But remarkable isn’t the same thing as impossible.
The ancient Egyptians were just really, really good at what they did. They had engineers, astronomers, expert masons… and lots of cheap labor.
The biggest question was how they moved those massive blocks of stone. In 2014, physicists from the University of Amsterdam finally cracked the problem wide open. The blocks were moved on sledges over the sand–but not dry sand. The ancient builders wetted it down, creating a smooth, even surface.