There's something off about Egypt's oldest and largest pyramid on the Giza Plateau

Local and foreign tourists visit the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH/REUTERS

Local and foreign tourists visit the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, which was built 4500 years ago, has been called a wonder of the ancient world.

Standing at 139 metres tall with a 230m wide base, it is the largest of Egypt's three pyramids on the Giza Plateau.

But recently, scientist have discovered something a little off about the colossal structure.

A British tourist rides a camel in front of the Giza pyramids.
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH/REUTERS

A British tourist rides a camel in front of the Giza pyramids.

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The base, it turns out, isn't perfectly square — the west side is ever so slightly longer than the east side, making it just a little lopsided.

And this discovery might reveal some of the methods used by the ancient Egyptians to construct these awesome pyramids.

Andrej Ciesielski caused outrage when he climbed the 4500-year-old Cheops pyramid at Giza.
andrejcie/Instragram

Andrej Ciesielski caused outrage when he climbed the 4500-year-old Cheops pyramid at Giza.

When the Great Pyramid of Giza was first built, the Egyptians encased it in white limestone. As time passed, they stripped this stone shell away to use it on other structures. This left us with the naked pyramid we have today.

But without this shell, scientists have had a tough time figuring out the original measurements of the pyramid.

A team of researchers from the Glen Dash Research Foundation and the Ancient Egypt Research Associates began taking their own measurements, hoping to understand what the pyramid was like before it was stripped of its outer shell.

A policeman (R) stands guard as a touris takes a photo at the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH/REUTERS

A policeman (R) stands guard as a touris takes a photo at the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.

They looked for markings around the base of the pyramid that showed where the original edges were. Then they plotted these points on a grid and calculated the lengths of each side.

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They found that the west side was 5.55 inches longer than the east side, making the structure lean just a tiny bit to one side. The difference is so small that it went undetected for nearly five millennia, which is pretty impressive if you think about it.

"The data show that the Egyptians possessed quite remarkable skills for their time," said Glen Dash, head of the Glen Dash Research Foundation, in a recent survey report. "We can only speculate as to how the Egyptians could have laid out these lines with such precision using only the tools they had."

This means that builders probably laid the pyramid's design on some sort of grid, and applied it to the ground during construction, ScienceAlert reports.

"We hope to eventually figure out how the Egyptians laid out the pyramid with such precision and, in doing so, hope to learn much about the tools and technology they had at their disposal," Dash said.

Earlier this year, a teenage tourist who illegally scaled an ancient pyramid to take death-defying selfies was been banned from the country for life. 

Andrej Ciesielski caused outrage when he climbed the Cheops pyramid at Giza.

His intention was to take photos on the top of the ancient tomb, which he did, and posted to his Instagram account

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