A Mysterious Void Was Just Discovered in Khufu’s Great Pyramid at Giza
Scientists have just discovered a big void in Khufu’s Pyramid, one of the oldest and most mysterious monuments on Earth. The newly-discovered void is at least 30m long and sits above what’s known as the Pyramid’s Grand Gallery, according to a research published today in a journal called Nature.
If you’re wondering how they managed to discover it, buckle up and be ready for a rollercoaster of semi-complicated but also cool scientific terms.
A team of scientists made the discovery using particles that are produced naturally in the upper atmosphere, as by-products of cosmic rays that come from space. These high-energy particles, called muons, take different paths depending on if they’re traveling through air or stone. Muons made by cosmic rays are around us all the time – if you held your hand and outstretched in front of you, on average one muon would pass through it every second.
The team used three different muon detection techniques to figure out how they were affected. The finding could eventually shed light on how the Pyramid was built – although this is all still early days, as the researchers haven’t yet figured out the exact orientation of the void.
“Having said that, we should be very cautious at this point of going too far beyond the observation of the void, because at this point it needs more research and identification of its orientation and dimensions,” said Hany Helal of Cairo University, another author of the paper.