Though they don't know the precise dimensions, researchers say the hidden chamber is at least 100 feet long and located above a hallway about 155 feet long, known as the Grand Gallery, part of a maze of passages inside the pyramid.
Japanese and French scientists made the announcement after two years of study at the famous pyramid complex, after making the discovery using cosmic-ray imaging. The particles, called muons, are found in harmless cosmic rays that rain down on the planet.
The objective of the space is unclear, and it is not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind or if it is merely a gap in the pyramid's architecture.
The pyramid is also known as Khufu's Pyramid for its builder, a fourth dynasty pharaoh who reigned from 2509 to 2483 BC.
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The Verge laid out a succinct, easy to understand, and extremely radical-sounding explanation of muons: "Muons are produced when the cosmic rays that permeate our Universe and pummel our atmosphere break down - creating a kind of subatomic confetti that rains down on Earth at nearly the speed of light".
"This is a premier", said Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project and president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute. Scientists say the particles penetrate any material that made them the flawless tool to X-ray the pyramid with.
Muon detection has improved significantly since it was developed in the 1960s, so Tayoubi and his colleagues were able to use three advanced muon-detection techniques-nuclear-emulsion films, hodoscopes, and ardon gas-based detection. "The good news is that the void is there, and it's very big", he said. The void, according to Lehner and Hawass, could be remnants of such a gap.
Keep scrolling to see how the scientists found the void as well as the technology they used. "But we need more of a focus on it, especially in a day and age when we can no longer go blasting our way through the pyramid with gunpowder as [British] Egyptologist Howard Vyse did in the early 1800s".
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Archaeology workers toil in front of the Great Pyramid, in Giza, Egypt, in 2010.
He added that using the technique to investigate other pyramids could help reveal their significance: "This work has the potential to convert locally important monuments into internationally important sites".
Given the world's fascination with the pyramids and secrets of the ancient world, it's clear the discovery will lead to much archaeological speculation and debate.
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