This story is from 2002, but I missed it then and it is still mysterious and interesting.
Were anti-clogging pipes created and embedded in a pyramid leading to a nearby lake by an advanced civilization in one of the planet’s most inhospitable locations thousands of years before modern human smelting methods were developed? Or is this some curious geological phenomenon?
The pipes were first discovered by a group of U.S. scientists on the trail of dinosaur fossils, who reported them to the local authorities in Delingha. They were ignored until a report, possibly one of six made, by Ye Zhou, appeared in the “Henan Dahe Bao” in June of 2002. – wiki
The widespread news of mysterious iron pipes at the foot of Mount Baigong, located in the depths of the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, has roused concern from related departments.
Some experts believe that these might be relics left behind by extraterrestrial beings (ET), for the site, with its high altitude and thin, crisp air, has long been held as an ideal place to practice astronomy.
Three caves are found at the foot of Mount Baigong. Two of them have collapsed and are inaccessible. The middle one is the biggest, with its floor standing two meters above the ground and its top eight meters above the ground.
This cave is about six meters in depth, a little like a cave dug out by human beings, with pure sand and rock inside.
What is astonishing is inside for there is a half-pipe about 40 centimeters in diameter tilting from the top to the inner end of the cave. Another pipe of the same diameter goes into the earth with only its top visible above the ground.
At the opening of the cave there are a dozen pipes at the diameter between 10 and 40 centimeters run into the mount straightly, showing high fixing technique.
About 80 meters away from the caves is the shimmering Toson Lake, on whose beach 40 meters away, many iron pipes can be found scattered on sands and rocks. They run in the east-west direction with a diameter between 2 and 4.5 centimeters. They are of various strange shapes and the thinnest is like a toothpick, but not blocked inside after years of sand movement.
More strange is that there are also some pipes in the lake, some reaching above water surface and some buried below, with similar shapes and thickness with those on the beach.
Aliens or not, notice the shape. The “pipe” is not round. Speculation: Could this be on purpose? Is this odd “throat” shape an ancient secret to keeping pipes form clogging? The way I see it, if the big part of the passage got plugged, the flow would still go through the smaller two groves and this would eventually wear down the clog, automatically unstopping it. Built in self-healing?
A few important facts are missing from the article. How straight is the “pipe”, for example? How smooth? Is it all solid iron? Are there fasteners connecting different lengths?
Where are the pictures? The photos included here are the only two I could find with a Google image search on 1-2-09.
Ah, just had to search in some other places … but still, this is the only other photo I can find. Does anyone have a link to this video?
Hard to tell if this is perfectly round. More data needed. One geologist writes:
“It is likely that the ‘pipes’ are hydrothermal or other groundwater deposits of an iron mineral(s). While I have not researched it thoroughly, that is my sense of these phenomena, given decades of training and experience as a geologist. I would like to see a more detailed chemical assay of the formations. Of course, additional pictures and maps would add extra dimensions to the info.” – su
Here is another summary of the pipes:
The Baigong Pipes are a series of pipe-like features found on and near Mount Baigong about 40 km southeast of the city of Delingha, in the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China. The Baigong Pipes are reported to be associated with a “pyramid” about 50 to 60 meters (160 to 200 feet high) built on Mount Baigong. The front of the “pyramid” is reported to contain three caves. The mouths of the two smaller caves have collapsed. Only the largest cave, which is 6 meters (18 feet) high, can be entered. Two Baigong Pipes have been reported from the largest cave. One of these is described as being 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and preserved as a reddish-brown “half-pipe”. Within the same cave, another pipe-like feature of similar diameter was also found. “Dozens” of upright pipe-like features, about 10 to 40 cm (4 to 16 inches) in diameter, were also found protruding from Mount Baigong above the largest cave. – krb
Lonely planet has a very nice write up that seems objective and has more details:
… According to the Xinhua news, results of preliminary rock and metal analysis show the pipes are 30 per cent ferric oxide, with high content of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide; eight per cent of the sample’s makeup was categorized “unidentifiable”. Engineer Liu Shaolin from Xitieshan Smelting Plant who carried out the analysis says the levels of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide point to the pipes being on the mountainside for a long time – although his estimate was significantly more recent than the U.S. scientists’ original theory that the iron was 300,000 years old. Liu found that it was 5000 years old; impressive, considering modern human smelting methods date back a mere 2000 years.
“The results have made the site even more mysterious,” says Qin. Then again, counters Lanzhou journalist Ye, he would say that. “The Delingha government is billing it as tourist attraction,” he says. “There’s already a road sign pointing the way to the E.T. relics, and they’ve got it in their investment and tourism guides.”
Thinking of going to see the pipes? Good luck. Delingha county is closed to foreigners. (Sept 2005 comment) And besides, the area is so cold and the air is so thin that nothing supposedly lives within 500 miles of it (?)
Here is the lake from space (NASA/USGS photo). You do see the huge Grey alien head under the water with the two blue eyes at the top of the image, right? 😉
Qinghai Lake one of the largest salt-water lakes in the world.