Sheesh, can’t a billionaire CEO tweet out a racially insensitive conspiracy theory in peace?
We are of course talking about Elon Musk, who loves to post wild shit in a way that makes it unclear as to whether he’s joking or not. Experts on ancient Egypt weren’t so tickled by his latest proclamation.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted, out of the blue: “Aliens built the pyramids obv.” The claim that aliens built the pyramids is a conspiracy theory that spreads on YouTube and Reddit.
Aliens built the pyramids obv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 31, 2020
On Saturday, Rania al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Co-operation, quote tweeted Musk with a seriously gentle rebuke and an invitation for Musk to visit Egypt and see the pyramids for himself.
“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.”
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
As Egypt Today reports, “acclaimed Egyptologist” Zahi Hawass also sought to set the record straight. The scientist posted a video on YouTube asserting the obvious: “What you said about the pyramids is completely hallucination, the pyramids are built by Egyptians.”
Aside from the scientific nonsense, some Twitter users pointed out the racist overtones of the conspiracy theory. South African comedian Yaaseen Barnes quote tweeted Musk’s aliens tweet with the assessment “It’s easier for white people to believe that aliens built the pyramids than for their minds to even comprehend the idea that Africans did.”
Musk added to his aliens Twitter thread the day after he originally posted. On Friday morning, he tweeted some fun pyramid facts and asserted humans made them. Later that day, he tweeted a link to the real history of the pyramids.
It’s possible he was just showing appreciation for how out-of-this-world the pyramids are in his weird Elon way.
Absolutely. Long-lasting art is incredibly difficult.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2020
Musk is a renowned Twitter troll who even went to court to defend his right to troll. But even if Musk was just joking, it’s irresponsible for him to spread science-undermining theories to his devoted followers in a time where conspiracy theories run rampant.