THE mysterious pyramids of Egypt have just got a bit more mysterious, after scientists discovered a large empty space deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The curious cavity is thought to be 30m long and several metres in height. A team of Japanese and French scientists found the void after two years of studying the pyramid. They used a technique called muography, which can detect changes of density inside large rock structures. It is the first major structure found in the pyramid since the 19th century.
The Great Pyramid has fascinated people for centuries. To this day, nobody is certain how the 146-metre structure was built. Construction took place during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu between 2509 and 2483 BC. It is known to contain three large chambers and a series of passageways, including a 47m-long, 8m-high one known as the Grand Gallery.
Scientists are now debating what the purpose of the space might be. Some think it may be there to act as a kind of support for the pyramid, preventing the heavy stones from collapsing.
Further tests, involving robots, will hopefully reveal more.