“The aliens built the obv pyramids,” the tweet read, which has since garnered more than 500,000 likes and nearly 85,000 retweets.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk also hinted that Pharaoh Ramses II – who initiated the Giza construction project – may also be an alien.
Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat responded to Musk’s claim on Twitter, inviting him to visit the pyramids himself.
“I follow your work with great admiration. I invite you and Space X to explore the writings on pyramid building and find the tombs of pyramid builders, ”al-Mashat tweeted.
“Mr. Musk, we are expecting you,” she added.
The idea that aliens built the pyramids is part of unfounded “ancient astronaut theory”, claiming that intelligent alien beings visited Earth in prehistoric times and built famous historical monuments, according to National Geographic.
Al-Mashat wrote that seeing the tombs of the pyramid builders would be proof that the pyramids were built by humans and not by aliens.
The tombs first discovered in the 1990s belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, proving that the structures were in fact built by ancient Egyptians, according to Egyptian chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass.
He said the builders’ tombs indicated that around 10,000 paid laborers – not slaves – worked on the pyramids, which were built as the final resting places for Egyptian royalty.
Hawass also responded to Musk’s tweet in a short Arabic Instagram video, calling his comment a “total hallucination.”
Hawass cited several pieces of evidence that the pyramids at Giza were built by humans, including inscriptions inside the structures with the names of the builders in addition to thousands of their graves.
The tombs date to the 4th Dynasty of Egypt, around the same time that the pyramids were built. The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and remains largely untouched, standing over 137 meters high.
The SpaceX boss later tweeted again with a link to a BBC story article that detailed the lives of the former pyramid builders.
“This BBC article provides a thoughtful summary of how it was done,” Musk wrote.
The pyramids were built in Egypt over 4000 years ago and are considered one of the most amazing architectural achievements of mankind. The construction of the pyramids – made up of millions of stones weighing at least two tons each – has long confused people as to how they were built without modern technology.
Experts say there are more than 100 surviving pyramids in Egypt.