Egypt official invites Elon Musk to see pyramids after he claims they were built by aliens
TORONTO -- A top government official in Egypt has invited U.S. billionaire Elon Musk to see the country's Great Pyramids of Giza after the Tesla CEO claimed that the historical landmark was built by aliens.
Musk seemed to tweet his support for the conspiracy theory on Friday, saying that aliens were involved in the construction effort of the famous site.
"Aliens built the pyramids obv," the tweet read, which has since garnered more than 500,000 likes and nearly 85,000 retweets.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk also hinted that Pharaoh Ramses II -- who started the Giza building project -- may have also been an alien.
Egypt's Minister of International Co-operation Rania al-Mashat responded to Musk’s claim on Twitter, inviting him to visit the pyramids himself.
"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," al-Mashat tweeted.
"Mr. Musk, we are waiting for you," she added.
The idea that aliens built the pyramids is part of the unfounded "ancient astronauts theory" claiming that intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth in prehistoric times and built famous historical landmarks, according to National Geographic.
Al-Mashat wrote that seeing the tombs of the pyramid builders would be proof that the pyramids were built by humans and not aliens.
The tombs first discovered in the 1990s belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, providing evidence that the structures were in fact built by ancient Egyptians, according to Egypt's chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass.
He said tombs of the builders indicated that approximately 10,000 paid labourers -- not slaves -- worked on the pyramids, which were constructed as final resting places for Egyptian royalty.
Hawass also responded to Musk's tweet in a short Instagram video in Arabic, calling his comment a "complete hallucination."
Hawass cited several pieces of evidence that the Pyramids of Giza were built by humans, including inscriptions inside the structures with the builders' names in addition to thousands of their graves.
The tombs date back to Egypt's 4th Dynasty which is around the same time that the pyramids were built. The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and remains largely intact, standing more then 137 metres tall.
The SpaceX boss later tweeted again with a link to a BBC History article that detailed the lives of the ancient pyramid builders.
"This BBC article provides a sensible summary for how it was done," Musk wrote.
The pyramids were built in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago and are considered some of humanity’s most astounding architectural achievements. The construction of the pyramids -- comprised of millions of stones weighing at least two tons each -- has long confounded people as to how they were built without modern technology.
Experts say there are more than 100 surviving pyramids in Egypt.