150,000-Year-Old Pipes in China

150,000-Year-Old Pipes Baffle Scientists in China: Out of Place in Time?


By Tara MacIsaac Epoch Times

Oopart (out of place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that seem to show a level of technological advancement incongruous with the times in which they were made. Ooparts often frustrate conventional scientists, delight adventurous investigators open to alternative theories, and spark debate.

In a mysterious pyramid in China’s Qinghai Province near Mount Baigong are three caves filled with pipes leading to a nearby salt-water lake. There are also pipes under the lake bed and on the shore. The iron pipes range in size, with some smaller than a toothpick. The strangest part is that they may be about 150,000 years old.

Dating done by the Beijing Institute of Geology determined these iron pipes were smelted about 150,000 years ago, if they were indeed made by humans, according to Brian Dunning of 

And if they were made by humans, history as it is commonly viewed would have to be re-evaluated.

The dating was done using thermoluminescence, a technique that determines how long ago crystalline mineral was exposed to sunlight or heated. Humans are only thought to have inhabited the region for the past 30,000 years. Even within the known history of the area, the only humans to inhabit the region were nomads whose lifestyle would not leave any such structures behind.

The state-run news agency Xinhua in China reported on the pyramid, the pipes, and the research began by a team scientists sent to investigate in 2002. 

Though some have since tried to explain the pipes as a natural phenomenon, Yang Ji, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua the pyramid may have been built by intelligent beings. He did not dismiss the theory that ancient extraterrestrials may be responsible, saying this theory is “understandable and worth looking into … but scientific means must be employed to prove whether or not it is true.”

Another theory is that it was built by prehistoric humans with techniques lost to humans of a later period. 

The pipes lead into a salty lake, though a twin lake nearby contains freshwater. The surrounding landscape is strewn with what Xinhua described as “strangely shaped stones.” Rocks protrude from the ground like broken pillars.

The head of the publicity department at the local Delingha government told Xinhua the pipes were analyzed at a local smeltery and 8 percent of the material could not be identified. The rest was made up of ferric oxide, silicon dioxide, and calcium oxide. The silicon dioxide and calcium oxide are products of long interaction between the iron and surrounding sandstone, showing the ancient age of the pipes. Liu Shaolin, the engineer who did the analysis, told Xinhua: “This result has made the site even more mysterious.”

“Nature is harsh here,” he said. “There are no residents let alone modern industry in the area, only a few migrant herdsmen to the north of the mountain.”

To further add to the mystery, Zheng Jiandong, a geology research fellow from the China Earthquake Administration told state-run newspaper People’s Daily in 2007 that some of the pipes were found to be highly radioactive.  

Other Theories

Jiandong said iron-rich magma may have risen from deep in the Earth, bringing the iron into fissures where it would solidify into tubes. Though he admitted, “There is indeed something mysterious about these pipes.” He cited the radioactivity as an example of the strange qualities of the pipes.

Others have said iron sediments may have washed into the fissures, carried with water during floods.

Though Xinhua and other publications in China have referred to a pyramid or even a mysterious pyramid in which the pipes were found, some have said it was a pyramid-shaped natural formation. 

Another theory is that the pipes are fossilized tree roots.  Xinmin Weekly reported in 2003  that scientists found plant matter in an analysis of the pipes, and they also found what looked like tree rings. The article related the finding to a geological theory that in certain temperatures and under certain chemical conditions, tree roots can undergo diagenesis (transformation of soil into rock) and other processes that can produce iron formations.

Reports on the tree-root explanation for the so-called Baigong pipes often lead back to this Xinmin Weekly article or lack citation. It’s unclear exactly how well-supported this theory is in relation to the Baigong pipes.

An article published  in the Journal of Sedimentary Research in 1993 describes fossilized tree roots in South Louisiana in the United States.

Featured image: Baigong Cave, with photo of pipe in the bottom left. Source.

The article " 150,000-Year-Old Pipes Baffle Scientists in China: Out of Place in Time? " was first published by Epoch Times


You're right. There have been several generations of human. Every one in the past has achieved a far more advanced technological level than we have yet, and time has lost virtually all evidence. But there are still some clues, huh.

Carbon dating is bullsh**t but so is the "official" history record. There are "forbidden" history that could explain much of this but is being kept from humanity by an Oligarchy.

I am reasonably confident the ancient pipes found in China and several other world wide locations, are related to pictorial artifacts as related in the Voynich Manuscripts. See:
(Particularly foldout picture of similar pipes; 86v)
I do not believe the manuscript is in any way an indication of the origins of the pipes, but may indicate a subterranean civilization that used such technologies over a hundred thousand years ago.

We like to think we have all the answers about the history of our species but... at the same time, turn completely away from our more recent history as we learned time and again that we weren't nearly as smart as we thought we were.

Lessons in technology quite often endure. Lessons in life are often forgotten the next day :)

Peter Harrap's picture

Archeology unfortunately continues to claim that the discovery of old stuff dated oddly by archeologists (other than those who did the work, of course), must be the result of a mistake, or is faked.

On this basis ALL “scientifically” dated materials are suspect, but I digress!

Nobody CAN know how long we have been on Earth. There may well have been human life on Earth since it became a habitable planet. There is NO reaon why not.

Years ago, during the Leakey era, the leaky position was that we had only existed for 1.8 million years.

In astronomy, does anybody maintain we have found every star, and every galaxy, and that is that?

No, you would be thought mad if you did.

By the same token, anybody claiming what another has discovered and dated cannot be true, should be treated in the same way, and I am frankly sickened and dejected, by this because there are, worldwide, in universities, professors downgrading rejecting, and failing students who are more open-minded and curious than themselves.

Such academics need to find another occupation, as surely science has better things to do than reject a claim because it is Chinese, or Mohican.

Similarly, could everybody arguing the toss here stop and admit , not just that we do not know, but cannot, on occasion. Thankyou



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