The Baigong pipes represent one of the greatest enigmas of the ancient world. They are located within a badly-eroded pyramid standing on top of Mount Baigong in the Qinghai Province of northwestern China.
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The collapsing monument once had triangular entrances on all three facets but, as years gone by, two of them caved in and are currently unreachable. The one that still stands stretches deep inside the mountain. Iron scraps and curious stones ornate the floor, indicating that long time ago, this place saw activity.
The last remaining cave shelters an intricate network of metal pipes, with diameters ranging from 1.5 feet to as small as a toothpick. Dozens of pipes lead straight into the mountain, final destination unknown.
Archaeologists who did research at the site believe the pipe system could have once supplied water inside the pyramid. Their hypothesis is based on numerous iron pipes unearthed on the shores of nearby Lake Toson. Those are also found in various lengths and diameters, some reaching above the water surface, others buried below.
Intrigued by these unusual artifacts, the Beijing Institute of Geology performed tests on these pipes using a technique called thermo-luminescence.
This method allowed them to determine when the metallic tubes were last subjected to high temperatures. Results yielded staggering results – the pipes must have been crafted more 150,000 years ago, and the mystery doesn’t end here.
Further tests performed at a smeltery operated by the government couldn’t determine all the exact mixture of the pipes. Although they were comprised of ferric oxide, silicon dioxide and calcium oxide, their alloy also contained 8% of an unknown compound.
It’s difficult to explain this mind-boggling discovery. Human presence in the region can be traced back to about 30,000 year, but we all know complex human societies emerged only about 6,000 years ago (at least that’s what history books tell us).
So how could a primitive society comprised mostly of nomadic tribes achieve such a deed? It would have been impossible for the primitive peoples to leave behind such an advanced piece, so it becomes clear that we’re missing an extremely large portion of history that would link these events.
Proposed explanations hint at an advanced and long-forgotten human civilization that had built a facility which required coolant, and the pipes leading to the nearby lake stand as a reminder.
Another intriguing aspect is the salty water from the lake, and the fact that there is a freshwater lake nearby with no pipes leading into it. They surely relied on saltwater, but for what purpose?
A potential answer is electrolysis. When an electric current is ran through saltwater, it breaks down the liquid into hydrogen and oxygen. Such products are defined notions for any advanced civilization, be it human or of otherworldly origins.
Other more skeptic geologists have proposed that the pipework could simply be the product of mother nature, more precisely fossilized tree roots, but I doubt nature could put in place an alloy of various oxides.
One thing is clear, the currently accepted paradigm is unable to explain with certainty or even come close to a reasonable explanation regarding these timeworn Chinese pipelines, and until history books are reinterpreted, we can only speculate about the origins of these out of place artifacts.