Here Is The Truth About Antarctica’s Mysterious ‘Pyramid’

Here Is The Truth About Antarctica’s Mysterious ‘Pyramid’

Last Updated: March 31, 2024, 17:00 IST

Scientists say that the ‘pyramid’ is just another mountain formed by erosion. (Photo Credits: Instagram)

The ‘pyramid’ shaped mountain was first discovered by American aviator Lincoln Ellsworth during a flight on November 23, 1935.

Every day the internet becomes rife with conspiracy theories. These theories can range from blatantly bizarre such as the ‘lizard people’ conspiracy or are based on incomplete or half information such as vaccines can cause health complications. Now once again a conspiracy theory is gaining traction online that claims that a previously unknown ‘pyramid’ was spotted in Antarctica via Google Maps. On Thursday, a popular Instagram page Unilad shared a photo of a mountain in Antarctica that some claimed was a man made pyramid. But, this is far from the truth. This ‘pyramid’ is just like any other mountain located on Antarctica’s Ellsworth Mountains.

The ‘pyramid’ mountain, which doesn’t have a formal name, was first discovered by the American aviator Lincoln Ellsworth during a flight on November 23, 1935, according to a 2007 research paper published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It is located at the coordinates: ‘79°58’39.25?S 81°57’32.21?W. This puts it on the southern part of the Ellsworth Mountains, in an area called Heritage Range. The Heritage Range is named so because of the extraordinary fossils found there, including a 500 million-year-old Cambrian-period trilobites.

As per CBS, what makes the ‘pyramid’ mountain different from other mountains in Antarctica is its unique shape. Mauri Pelto, a professor of environmental science, attributes its shape to the ‘freeze-thaw’ erosion. While speaking to CBS, Pelto explained that the ‘freeze-thaw’ erosion happens when snow or water gets into the cracks of a mountain. At night, when the temperature goes down, this snow/water freezes and expands into ice. The expansion of ice causes cracks in the mountain.

The ‘freeze-thaw’ happened countless times, which eventually erodes the mountain to such an extent that its cracks become big and eventually break away. Pelto says that the ‘freeze-thaw’ erosion gives a unique pyramidal shape to mountains. The well-known Matterhorn Mountain in the Alps is also pyramidal. The Broad Peak, the 12th highest mountain in the world, is also known for its pyramid shape.

It is also important to note that since erosion happens erratically, not all sides of the pyramidal mountain are the same, as is the case with man made pyramids. In the case of Antarctica’s ‘pyramid’ mountain, the eastern ridge of the mountain extends eastwards as opposed to descending.

In simple words, there is no hidden pyramid in Antarctica, either man made or made by aliens. It is simply a pyramidal mountain that got its shape by natural forces of erosion.

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