Egypt was forced to deny that its iconic pyramids were built by aliens after claims made on Twitter by US billionaire Elon Musk went viral this weekend.
In a tweet, the eccentric billionaire claimed that the pyramids in Egypt were "obv" built by aliens, to which the Egyptian government extended an invitation to Musk to visit the famous landmark himself to see that it was in fact ancient Egyptians who built them with their own hands.
Aliens built the pyramids obv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 31, 2020
Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, was quick to deny the allegations, taking to Twitter to say: "I follow your work with a lot of admiration. I invite you & SpaceX 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." In reference to his space exploration endeavours.
There are more than 100 pyramids, the most famous of which is the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo, which stands at more than 137 metres tall. Most were built as tombs for the pharaohs and uncovered by archaeologists over years of painstaking field work and research.
They are a point of national pride in Egypt and a major factor in its appeal to tourists.
However, Egypt's top archaeologists were not happy with Musk's assertion, with Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass denouncing it as a "complete hallucination".
He said: "I found the tombs of the pyramids' builders that tell everyone that the builders of the pyramids are Egyptians and they were not slaves. Also the Wadi al-Jarf papyrus, that tells us for the first time about Khufu and building the pyramid."
"The pyramids were a national project of the whole nation. Ramsees II was an Egyptian from Sharqia. What you said is wrong and a hallucination."
Hawass accused Musk of being hungry for fame and attention seeking.
The theory that aliens were responsible for building Egypt's pyramids is regularly peddled by the History Channel in the series Ancient Aliens.
Musk has yet to accept Egypt's invitation to inspect the pyramids.