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Ancient History

Scientists Discover “Plane Sized” Hidden Chamber Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza

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Archaeologists have long suspected that there are hidden chambers inside the Great Pyramid of Giza — one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” But only recently was the possibility confirmed by science. Recently, researchers with the ScanPyramids project confirmed that there is a “plane-sized” void in the middle of the 5,000-year-old structure. This is the first discovery of its kind to be made since the 19th century.

The research began two years ago when a team of scientists announced that they would use particle physics to try and scan deep into the Great Pyramid of Giza — also known as the Pyramid of Khufu — without disrupting its outside. Their plan was to image internal structures that are inaccessible to researchers. What they found was stranger than anyone could have predicted.

Credit: ScanPyramids Project

Thanks to their efforts, we now know that there is a massive internal void inside the Great Pyramid that is at least 30 meters (100 feet) long. Needless to say, scientists are baffled by the discovery.

“This is a premier,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project. “It could be composed of one or several structures… maybe it could be another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber, it could be a lot of things.”

“It was hidden, I think, since the construction of the pyramid,” he added.

Credit: ScanPyramids Project

The team used cosmic-ray imaging to record the behavior of muons — subatomic particles. When muons rain down from earth’s atmosphere, they are absorbed or deflected by harder objects which slows them down. By applying particle physics, the researchers were able to study the particles’ trajectories and determine what parts of the pyramid are stone — and which are open space. Their paper was peer-reviewed before appearing in the journal Nature.

Tayoubi explained that the group was determined to investigate the pyramid with non-destructive analytical techniques. When the high-tech method worked, everyone was blown away. He said,

“The first reaction was a lot of excitement, but then we knew that it would take us a long, long time, that we needed to be very patient in this scientific process.”

Credit: ScanPyramids Project

He continued,

“The good news is the void is there. Now we are sure that there is a void. We know that this void is big. I don’t know what it could be. I think it’s now time for Egyptologists and specialists in ancient Egypt architecture to collaborate with us, to provide us with some hypotheses.”

The ScanPyramids team is hoping small robots can be used to enter the space through tiny cracks or holes and provide more information.

Credit: ScanPyramids Project

Said Peter Der Manuelian, an Egyptologist at Harvard University who was not part of the research team:

“That’s the good thing about the muon project, there’s absolutely no damage to the pyramid at all. I hope that, in collaboration with the Egyptian antiquities authorities, further exploration will be set in motion. The study of the pyramids has been going on for an awful long time. So any new contribution is always a welcome addition to our knowledge.”

h/t The Independent, NPR

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Ancient History

6 Year Old Finds Fossil In Family Garden That May be 488 Million Years Old

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Children have a natural fascination with rocks, with many of us having spent some days as children standing awe-struck at our museums or science centers looking at dazzling arrays of stones, or learning about the different types that can be found out our local beaches, parks, or hiking trails.

However, none of us managed to make the sort of discovery that one young boy in the U.K. did.

Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, found a fossil in his garden that dates back millions of years.

Sid found the fossil in his backyard garden in the town of Walsall using a simple fossil-hunting kit he received as a gift, reports the BBC.

His father Vish Singh was then able to identify the fossil as a horn corral that dates back 251 to 488 million years with the help of a Facebook fossil group.

“I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral,” Sid explained.

“I was really excited about what it really was.”

His father Vish added:

“We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil… he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.

“In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.”

The father believes that the distinctive markings on the fossil make it a Rugosa coral, meaning it could be up to 488 million years old.

“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” Vish said.

“England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”

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Researchers Find 50,000-Year-Old Frozen Body of Extinct Woolly Rhino in Siberia

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Researchers in Siberia have stumbled upon the 50,000 year-old remains of a rare woolly rhinoceros that was trapped in permafrost.

The remains of the woolly rhino were excavated from the Abyisky district of the Sakha Republic. The rhino was first discovered by a local in Siberia named Alexei Savin, Business Insider reported.

Savvin stumbled upon the remarkable find walking near the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, Siberia last August.

It’s worth noting that this woolly rhino was found close to the site where a previous baby woolly rhino named Sasha was discovered back in the year 2014. Woolly Rhinos were once believed to have been prevalent in Europe, Russia and northern Asia thousands upon thousands of years ago until they ended up extinct.

Paleontologist Albert Protopopov of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic unveiled that the baby woolly rhino would have been approximately three to four years old when it died presumably from drowning.

The only other woolly rhino thus far that has been discovered in these regions — Sasha — was dated to be from around 34,000 years ago. However, Protopopov suggests that the newly discovered body could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old.

However, despite the body being there for so long according to Protopopov “among other things, part of the internal organs are preserved, which in the future will make it possible to study in more detail how the species ate and lived.”

Protopopov further added, “Earlier, not even the bone remains of individuals of this age were found, not to mention the preserved carcasses of animals. As a rule, these were either cubs or adults.”

A fellow paleontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Academy of Sciences further adds, “We have learned that woolly rhinoceroses were covered in very thick hair. Previously, we could judge this only from rock paintings discovered in France. Now, judging by the thick coat with the undercoat, we can conclude that the rhinoceroses were fully adapted to the cold climate very much from a young age.”

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