FROM THE DESK OF: Deo
Since the dawn of civilization mankind has credited its origins to gods and other visitors from the stars. What if it were true? Did extraterrestrials really help to shape our history? These are the opening lines of my favorite show on the History Channel.
I’m a little bit embarrassed to say this, but I can’t get enough of Ancient Aliens. Before I continue and make you think I’m one of those nuts, let me make one thing clear: I believe in aliens, I just don’t believe in ancient aliens—or, specifically, their notion that aliens visited us in the past and shaped our history. I mean have you seen this show? According to them, aliens literally built everything (and more). The pyramids in Egypt? It was aliens. The Mayan temples? Obvs aliens. How about those naturally occurring rock formations that look like a ceremonial mounds? Pshh, aliens. Okay, but what about Bigfoot? Surely Bigfoot can’t be alien? Wrong. Never mind there is no actual evidence of Bigfoot; he’s an alien too! Founding fathers of America? Get the heck out of here—they were aliens! Evolution? Evidence points to aliens. What about the iPhone? Reverse engineered from alien technology (where have you been?). These dudes are completely and utterly batshit crazy and with each successive season, Giorgio Tsoukalos’ hair gets progressively more blown out as he becomes progressively more insane.
Despite all their nutty proclamations and jumping to conclusions, I still love Ancient Aliens. It takes a special kind of creativity to attribute Leonardo Da Vinci’s genius to him being abducted by aliens and given mental powers. Brilliant stuff, guys! I’m laughing my ass of just thinking about it. But more than the comedy aspect, I love learning about history and there are some really cool things that I’ve learned. Things that are real (if you take away aliens building it) and not in text books. Often times when they casually mention something like an archaeological site, I would look it up and spend hours trying to find out more about it. Here are some of the cool history or archaeological evidence from the show that has blown my mind:
Somewhere in the Anatolia region of southeast Turkey, there is an archaeological site that was abandoned 10,000 years ago. Radiocarbon dating suggests the site is over 12,000 years old. It is the oldest archaeological site discovered anywhere. To put this in perspective, it is 10,000 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids and 8,000 years older than Stonehenge and yet way more advanced. Göbekli Tepe is a site where these ancient temples, formed in concentric circles with T-shaped pillars have been erected.
This discovery rewrites history completely. The traditional model of history tells us that in 5,000 B.C. we were still hunter gathers living in caves. Yet, here is this enormous site of which only 5% has been excavated that suggests our ancestors were building monumental architecture 7,000 years earlier than we thought. The skills to build these structures also do not happen overnight, which means the origins civilization could be older and more mysterious than anybody thought or previously had evidence for. National Geographic suggests that we may have gotten it backwards: our need to worship is what lead to agriculture and civilization and not the other way around.
Derinkuyu in Cappadocia
While not nearly as perspective changing as Gobekli Tepe, it’s still pretty darn cool. Derinkuyu is a city that is built entirely underground underneath a mountain. It extends to the depth of 200 feet and can hold up to 20,000 people. It has stone doors that can be closed from the inside. It was initially built by Indo-European people around the 7th or 8th century B.C., but many settlers have also used it since then. Throughout history, it was used as protection from invaders. The tunnels extend for miles and there are many rooms for various purposes including rituals, churches, and rooms for livestock. I’m not entirely sure how aliens built this thing, but I’m pretty sure aliens it was aliens.
Sphinx Water Erosion Hypothesis
Geologist Robert Schoch was on the show to talk about the Sphinx being older than what Egyptologists agreed was around 2,500 B.C., representing the Pharaoh Khafra. His theory is that the main type of weathering around the body of the Sphinx was created by rainfall. However, this type of rainfall happened when Egypt was more lush, thereby predating the age of what Egyptologists agreed, dating it back to around over 10,000 B.C. When this was proposed, he was crucified by mainstream Egyptologists. It was blasphemy to propose that the Sphinx be that old. There was nothing in Egypt back then. Since the discovery of Gobekli Tepe though, his theory doesn’t seem that bad at all.
The show mentions that every culture in the world has a flood myth (did Aliens flood the Earth?). The most obvious flood myth is Noah’s Ark, but in Mesopotamia, there is also the tale called The Epic of Gilgamesh. In that poem, the king survives a great flood also by building an ark. That there are flood myths is nothing special, but that there is a flood myth in every culture and corner of the world is suggestive of something humanity must have all dealt with in our ancient past. The logic goes that when the ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, all the ice melted thereby causing the sea levels to rise. Since the sea levels rose by hundreds of feet, it must have swallowed entire populated regions whole throughout the world. It wouldn’t be a surprise then that there is a flood myth in every corner of the world.
The Underwater Pyramids of Yonaguni
In Japan, there is a site submerged under water that looks like ancient ruins or an ancient pyramid. Scholars and scientists are still cannot make a definitive conclusion if it is man made or natural. But the kicker is, if it is man made, it would have had to been built over 10,000 years ago when the sea levels were low enough that the site would still be above ground. Again, it points to an ancient lost civilization before the ice age existed. Of course, the show claims it was aliens, but something more exciting and mysterious can be inferred here: an ancient lost global civilization building monumental architecture.
Aliens be damned, this show has some pretty cool findings. Combine that with their insane conclusions and you get something that is both educational (if you ignore certain parts) and hilarious (see his hair). Plus, it’s really nice to fall asleep to.