2017 may be an ever-worsening trash fire, but at least some science is still pretty cool. According to NPR, scientists just discovered a huge hidden hole in the Great Pyramid of Giza, and no one knows why it’s there.
The known specifics about the space, which according to NPR is the “first significant internal structure found within the Great Pyramid since the 19th century,” are pretty slim. First, according to the discovery’s announcement report in the journal Nature, it’s located above a “tall, cathedral-like room known as the Grand Gallery,” NPR reported. The newly discovered aspect, which scientists found by using a technique similar to an X-ray, is about the same size as the Grand Gallery, so around 100 or so feet long.
And that’s it. Mehdi Tayoubi, one of the scientists who discovered the space, explained in a press briefing, “What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, and that it was not expected by any kind of theory.”
For folks who are dreaming about alien tech or mummy curses, though, Harvard University Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian (who was not involved in the discovery) has some words of caution. “The romantic interpretation and what everyone wants to hear is that this is a hidden room and the king’s body is inside or there’s grave goods we didn’t know about or we’re going to learn more about history… and none of that is responsible speculation at the moment,” he told NPR.
But despite the fact that the reasons for the void’s existence may well turn out to be banal, it’s hard not to wonder what could be hidden there, if it could unlock more secrets about how the pyramids were built, and how exactly it remained hidden through hundreds of years of archaeological study.