It’s safe to say Elon Musk is almost certainly the world’s most eccentric billionaire, from his weird baby names to getting high with Joe Rogan to sharing beliefs that shock his also famous wife, Grimes. So perhaps you didn’t bat an eye if you caught him tweeting an old, tired claim: that the Egyptian pyramids, some of the wonders of the world, were built not by humans, but by aliens.
But there were some people who did bat their eyes: Egyptian officials. As per the BBC, Musk’s tweet — which simply read “Aliens built the pyramids obv,” seemingly apropos of nothing — was politely attacked by Egyptian Minister of International Co-operation Rania al-Mashat, who urged the entrepreneur to maybe do some research before disseminating easily debunked urban legends to his 37.4 million followers.
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. Mr. Musk, we are waiting for you 🚀. @elonmusk https://t.co/Xlr7EoPXX4
— Rania A. Al Mashat (@RaniaAlMashat) August 1, 2020
“I follow your work with a lot of admiration,” Mashat tweeted to Musk. “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. Mr. Musk, we are waiting for you.”
Musk’s tweet also received pushback from Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who responded with a short video in Arabic. In it, he says (as translated by EgyptToday), “I found the tombs of the pyramids builders that tell everyone that the builders of the pyramids are Egyptians and they were not slaves.”
To his credit, when confronted, Musk relented, even tweeting out some helpful info to off-set his previous tall claims.
This BBC article provides a sensible summary for how it was done https://t.co/le3r20BWID
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2020
Though it’s incredibly easy to not reiterate claims of alien interference repeated in the 1994 blockbuster Stargate, the details of how the pyramids at Giza were constructed remains a mystery. Their purpose, however, is clear: They were intended as massive tombs to their mighty pharaohs. So even if you didn’t learn anything didn’t already know, at least Elon Musk did.