The origin of mysterious pipe-like structures found in a remote region of China is shrouded in the tubes’ 150,000-year history. That is one thing that scientists have agreed on—that these cylinders, which fill three caves in a pyramid in Qinghai Province pre-date known human technological advances by a good 120,000 years.
The pipes also flow under the lakebed and onto the shore, according to the Epoch Times, a website that chronicles strange and inexplicable phenomena. Some are smaller than a toothpick, the Epoch Times says, while others look, well, pipelike.
According to what we know of science and human history, humans did not arrive in the region until 30,000 years ago, the Epoch Times said. Indeed, so strange are these formations that they’ve been dubbed “ET relics” locally. Tour buses take the curious and the exploratory to view the peculiar shapes at the Alien Ruins, as they are billed by tourism officials in Delingha, the third largest city in the province, about 25 miles away. While they may turn out to be a natural phenomena—they resemble formations found in the so-called Navajo Sandstone region of the southwestern United States, for one thing—the pipes have the potential to turn conventional knowledge on its head.
If that does turn out to be the case, it would not be the first time that modern notions of evolution were turned on their head.
The ruins are near the saltwater Tuosu Lake that has a freshwater twin. Delingha City sits at the bottom of the Qaidam Basin, part of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
“On the south bank of the lake stands several pyramid-like mountains at the edge of the Gobi desert, each 50 to 60 meters high with yellow-gray sides,” explained the Global Times. “There is a grotto in the shape of a triangle on the side of one of the pyramid-mountains that is the Alien Ruins.”
Chinese scientists have been investigating the site since 2002, according to the news agency Xinghua, in an article noted by the Epoch Times. Testing of the compounds in the pipes revealed ferric oxide, silicon dioxide and calcium oxide, Xinhua reported—but eight percent was of unknown origin, with elements not present in the periodic table of the elements. The same analysis proved the pipes’ age, because the silicon dioxide and calcium oxide were created from the iron’s reaction with sandstone.
Scientists admit to being stumped.
"There are no signs of life at all in the wide lake and the sharp mountains are also lifeless, as if they have experienced a massive fire,” said Qinghai archaeologist Bai Yu to the Global Times. “It seems that the scenery here did not originate from Earth, but from other planets in outer space."