back to article Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Scientists have uncovered a hidden void in the largest pyramid in Giza, Egypt, using muons – a particle typically produced by cosmic rays, according to new research published today. The Great Pyramid, also known as Khufu’s Pyramid, standing over 146 meters (481 feet) tall, was built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu from 2509 …

  1. Franklin

    It has to be be where the ancient Egyptians stored the grain. I heard it from a US politician, so it must be true!

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      I am hoping its the Stargate chamber.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Happy

        "I am hoping its the Stargate chamber."

        You beat me to it

  2. Keef

    'a particle usually found in cosmic rays'

    Not according to Wikipedia and every other reference I've looked up so far.

    More a by product of high energy radiation interacting with other stuff (sorry if I got a bit technical at the end there).

    /pedant

    1. Richard Boyce

      Re: 'a particle usually found in cosmic rays'

      Muons are very unstable, so don't travel very far before they decay. Better would be "a particle usually made by impacts with cosmic rays".

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: 'a particle usually found in cosmic rays'

      It's fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@ if you spot any errors.

      C.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: 'a particle usually found in cosmic rays'

        What's not mentioned is that muons were proposed as a tool for examination over 45 years ago and now we finally have the technology to actually try it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it an Alien spacecraft hanger or the Pharaoh's shed. I love a good mystery.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Is it an Alien spacecraft hanger ?

      Definitely. Other less-august publications than El Reg described it as 'the size of an aircraft' - presumably a point wisely ignored by El Reg as they omit to say whether they mean a microlite or a Spruce Goose.

      1. The other JJ

        Surely El Reg should describe its size in approved Vulture Central units, so in this case the number of Olympic swimming pools or double-decker buses that would fit in it.

    2. Tikimon Silver badge
      Angel

      We should have anticipated this...

      Only today a forgotten fragment of an old papyrus revealed the answer. It's the private Love Shack the Pharaoh was to use in the afterlife. Breaking with known traditions, its decoration makes extensive use of red pigments and long-haired animal skins (shag carpet being four millennia away). There's a small cold-box for beer and light snacks. The walls are covered with provocative erotic artwork, and lined with lavishly painted chests that hold the divine sex toys. There used to be a highly-polished reflective panel on the ceiling, but its frame deteriorated and it fell long ago.

      Seduction pads haven't changed much in 4000 years.

      1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

        Re: We should have anticipated this...

        it's THE original man cave :o)

  4. Steve Aubrey
    Joke

    Drilling for a cavity?

    What are you - dental, or something??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drilling for a cavity?

      They will get to the tooth.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Drilling for a cavity?

      Ouch! Bad pun, I'm going to tell my mummy on you...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do not disturb

    The void appears to parallel the Grand Gallery. Might be a structural void to unload the roof of the GG, similar to above the King's Chamber.

    Or, it could be where they put all the human sacrifices...

    1. dan1980

      Re: Do not disturb

      @Big John

      Or a simple f%$k up. So yeah, possibly a few dead engineers and workers there . . .

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Do not disturb

        "possibly a few dead engineers and workers there"

        What was discovered is a space that didn't absorb muons as much as rock. Maybe not empty space but full of MUMMIES!!!!

  6. Charlie van Becelaere
    Alien

    What this guy says

    http://iheardacouplethings.blogspot.com/2011/07/seventeen-lost-pyramids-have-been-found.html

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What this guy says

      I read the first sentence at that link and thought "oh, that's interesting" because there has been recent archaeological discoveries in Egypt and elsewhere using exactly that technique. Then I carried on reading the next few sentences before promptly hitting the big X.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: What this guy says

        The major disappointment is that there are no comments.

        That is where the real gold is on those sorts of sites.

        1. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Boffin

          Drill a small hole ...

          "Apart from the size of the space, little is known about the void. To explore this further, the team are thinking about drilling a very small hole – measuring a few centimetres across – so that a tiny robot can fly inside to reveal the hidden details of the cavity."

          May have been worthwhile yesterday. The truth's out now.

          Them grave robberz move fast. Especially the onez who read elReg'

          >> You'll need Elf 'n safety gear to drill a hole ....

        2. Tikimon Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: What this guy says

          "The major disappointment is that there are no comments."

          I've noticed that cranks and crazies and rabid ideologues often don't allow comments. They really don't want to hear anything that contradicts their utter BS.

          I've also noticed that many sane folks often don't allow comments. They really don't want to deal with the cranks and crazies and rabid ideologues who chime in with utter BS.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What this guy says

            > "I've noticed that cranks and crazies and rabid ideologues often don't allow comments. They really don't want to hear anything that contradicts their utter BS."

            I believe most cranks have no problem hearing things that contradict their world view, and often host such material on their own sites. Countering and 'debunking' those things is what defines them online, after all.

            It's just that they don't care for other people debunking them, certainly not on their own site! Throws a spanner into the 'crank case,' as it were.

            1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: What this guy says

              "I believe most cranks have no problem hearing things that contradict their world view"

              Ironic, coming from you.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: What this guy says

      "but we prefer not to indulge in such unfounded speculation."

      Yeh, right.

  7. Len Goddard

    Done before?

    I could swear that someone tried this sort of cosmic ray tomography years ago without succes, but googling for it is more or less impossible because all you get is results from the latest effort.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Done before?

      Uh, if you're Googling for it then click on the search tools above the search results, and select an end date from e.g. last year.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Done before?

        The original experiments were by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Walter_Alvarez

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Done before?

      Something similar was tried in the 1970s but because they got the dimensions wrong, the results were gibberish (which von Danniken and friends ascribed to "aliens"). Once the measurements were corrected there was nothing interesting showing.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Isn't this an old movie plot?

    So drilling a small hole won't awaken whatever is sleeping there? I do wonder how bad the sleeper can be though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this an old movie plot?

      This plot writes itself, starting with an enraged army of radioactive mummies pouring from a newly opened breach in the Great Pyramid. Millions running for shelter with the last of the toilet paper and canned goods. The military forms a defensive ring around the power plant, as usual. Civilization hangs in the balance.

      Mummies are finally defeated via Gregorian chants played at high volume. Dead mummies come in surprisingly handy during ensuing toilet paper crisis.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Isn't this an old movie plot?

        "Dead mummies come in surprisingly handy during ensuing toilet paper crisis"

        Pfffffffffffffwwhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Isn't this an old movie plot?

        They used to burn them for fuel in steam locomotives back in the day. Ordinary Joe Mummies were buried in the sand where they dessicated. They would erode out of sand dunes and were very common. Whereas wood was more expensive and scarce.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Isn't this an old movie plot?

      "You've come to destroy the Earth? Too late, mate, we've already got Trump."

  9. Commswonk Silver badge

    Do things the hard way...

    To explore this further, the team are thinking about drilling a very small hole – measuring a few centimetres across – so that a tiny robot can fly inside to reveal the hidden details of the cavity.

    Not sure that I would describe a hole a few centimetres across as "very small"; apart from that would a drain camera not be a better way of conducting an internal examination? Endoscopy on an archeological scale...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Do things the hard way...

      "would a drain camera not be a better way of conducting an internal examination? "

      Yeah, miniature flying robots seems to be a technological step too far, especially since they need to invent them first.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Do things the hard way...

        And would need a second one to carry some sort of illumination, come to think of it; not an issue with an endoscope, at least for a small area.

      2. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Do things the hard way...

        "Yeah, miniature flying robots seems to be a technological step too far, especially since they need to invent them first."

        Please sir .... The Senior Service appear to have a new prototype drone flying boat they're trialling. HMS Darlington.

        >> The only wetness available. We need a tot 'O rum icon.

      3. Wiltshire

        Re: Do things the hard way...

        They've already been invented.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36313958

      4. Holtsmark

        Re: Do things the hard way...

        Nope, you just need to know where to buy one.

        http://www.proxdynamics.com/home

        Using on-board low power illumination and the night vision camera, it us much easier to fully explore a large void as the one detected, than it is to use an endoscope.

        Having seen one in action, I must say that this is a serious piece of equipment, not comparable to a $20 toy from China.

      5. Tikimon Silver badge

        Re: Do things the hard way...

        Flying bots sound lovely, but don't forget you're asking your transmitter to penetrate around 100 feet of near-solid rock to reach the drone. That's a tough order, not to mention sending your camera feed back to the pilot. You could go autonomous, but that's asking for disaster when so little is known about what might be in there.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Do things the hard way...

          They're going to need something to transport the drone down the borehole so it shouldn't be too difficult to arrange to send a antenna with it. They'd probably also need to come up with some way to recharge the drone unless they can arrange a bulk discount.

  10. Oldfogey

    I reckon they'll find a giant statue of Hat, the Vulture-Headed God of Unexpected Guests.

    1. Stratman

      Or an incredibly sharp razor blade

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      I reckon they'll find a giant statue of Hat, the Vulture-Headed God of Unexpected Guests.

      Aha! The identity of the Secret Senior[1] Editor at El Reg is finally uncovered..

      [1] Very. Considering that the pyramid has been in place for ~6500 years.. Still - the SSE would have had time to get up a good head of Bile..

  11. InfiniteApathy
    Pint

    For whoever came up with that glorious title ----->

    1. MichaelBirks

      Abso-fracking-loutely.

      The headlnes are one of the reasons I keep coming to El Reg.

    2. Tikimon Silver badge
      Angel

      almost...

      It's good, but it would improve with "Giza GAZERS' muon..." Unless the research team had some really old folks in it "geezers" is the wrong choice.

  12. Johnny Canuck

    This is why mummies are afraid of cats - because the cats will unravel them. For evidence see any number of cat and toilet paper pictures/videos on the internet.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      This is why mummies are afraid of cats

      I dunno. Mine is pretty fond of them (although she only has two - slacker!). It's where I inherited by obsession..

  13. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Hmm ...

    The void seems to be tucked up out of the way above the grand gallery, so it could be the servants' quarters.

    Possibly a space for the Pharaoh's personal assistant - the well-known "Valet of the Kings" ...

    1. Commswonk Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Hmm ...

      "Valet of the Kings" ...

      Definitely worth an upvote that, not least because of the lateness of the hour at which you thought of it.

  14. jcuk
    Holmes

    Gisa’s Geezers are headline pleasers.

    You made my week with that headline.

    Well played sir. Well played.

  15. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Holmes

    Occam here

    it's a mistake from the construction phase.

    Anyone who has vaguely read up about Egyptology will know that they had to build a few pyramids before they perfected the art (so much for "space aliens" doing it for us).

    Incidentally, satellite imagery archaeology has shown the sites of loads of "lost cities". One lesser known fact (well I didn't know it until the BBC docu) is that over the thousands of years Egypt has been populated, the course of the Nile and it's tributaries has changed many times. So there are cities waiting to be found (although one Pharaoh did actually move a city block by block).

    Archaeologists are able to trace where these rivers ran by the style and dates of excavated pottery.

  16. Pat Harkin

    It's where they got the stone for Stonehenge

    I reckon the druids were doing a sacrifice one day when a bloke knocked of the temple door and said "We've been working in this area building a mausoleum and Chalkie's only gone and over-ordered the sacred stone and we don't want to have to float it all the way back to the warehouse. We could knock you up a nice little henge for cost. What do you say?"

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I don't get this muon thing

    Muons streak through our planet close to the speed of light.

    Very unlikely. These are not neutrinos.s

    Muons have charge so should be slowed rapidly then be pulled into atomic shells where they decay.

    Electrons for example are not known for streaking through our planet close to the speed of light or very deeply for that matter.

  18. Digitall

    Kufu's cherished belongings?

    I would predict that it's Kufu's personal belongings chamber as the void is on the same level as the Kufu's burial chamber.

  19. Sergiu Panaite
    Mushroom

    Really?

    These scientist types don't seem to watch enough movies.

    "To explore this further, the team are thinking about drilling a very small hole – measuring a few centimetres across – so that a tiny robot can fly inside to reveal the hidden details of the cavity."

    ...when they'll discover a no-longer-hidden army of nanobots / unknown deadly disease (or, why not, both) which will wipe out humanity.

    We've had enough of listening to experts I tell you...

  20. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Isn't there an X-Men film about this?

  21. A Nonny Moose
    Pint

    Headline Award

    I hope you guys get awards for the best headlines, because this would be a winner for sure.

  22. Teslahed

    So yes, this did just get shared on social media for the sake of the headline.

    In other news; 3cm flying robots would be pretty tricky to get doing much useful. Off the shelf flying drones that can carry useful payloads are currently down to about 8.5 cm's tip to tip and that could be reduced a bit with folding propellers. Give it 5 to 10 years and that will change. Doing it today I'd go with a snakelike robot tethered to the outside word for remote power and control and keep it simple if it was me. Even though I do love mini flying drones.

    https://www.gearbest.com/brush-fpv-racer/pp_612727.html (example off the shelf micro drone that could carry payload).

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      See Holtsmark's link above

      It's a conventional helicopter design and very small. With a bit of work it could probably be made to fit into a 3cm tube

  23. Solo Owl

    Drone shmrone

    Two or three surgeons and their usual technician assistants can do this laparoscopically, thru an aperture only a few millimeters wide. The purveyors of the Da Vinci operating room equipment might be happy to modify their equipment to suit the task, in exchange for the free publicity. If in fact a miniature helicopter is needed, it can be assembled, and its batteries replaced as needeed, in situ, by the surgeons, working remotely.

    C'mon now, El Reg comments are for high-techies.

  24. Jan 0
    Boffin

    Time saver

    I admire the science involved, but couldn't they have done this work in a few (fenced off) hours with a lump of Cobalt-60?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just sayin'...

    Prepare for the zombie apocalypse..

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