China’s Pyramid-Shaped Mountains Spark Conspiracy Theories

China’s Guizhou Province is home to about a dozen conical hills known as the Anlong Pyramids because of their resemblance to the much more famous pyramids of Egypt.

In recent years, Anlong County has become a popular tourist destination thanks in no small part to its pyramid-like mountains which have captured the imaginations of millions of people around the world. Apart from their pyramid-like shape, these formations also feature layers of rock stacked on top of each other so neatly that you could swear they were placed like that by someone or something. Ever since photos and videos of the Anlong Pyramids started circulating online around 2018, conspiracy theories about their origin began appearing as well, and despite experts’ best efforts to convince the public that these pyramids are completely natural, some people still believe that they are the work of an ancient human civilization or of aliens.

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Xu

According to Zhou Qiuwen, a professor at Guizhou Normal University, the so-called pyramids of Anlong County are a typical example of karst terrain with a history of around 200 million years. Back when the county was still a shallow sea, minerals began dissolving in the water and recrystallizing as dolomite, the main component of today’s pyramids.

Due to periodic changes in climate, geological structure, and other factors, the stacked layers of rocks are so clearly distinct. Furthermore, Zhou explained that the block-like structure of the rocks, which many consider proof of human or alien intervention, is the result of a known geological process. Small cracks within the rocks allow water to slowly erode them, creating segmented block-like formations.

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Xu

Regarding the peculiar pyramid shape of these karst formations, Zhou explained that the karst topography of the region undergoes vertical erosion by water, with the top layers eroding faster and the lower ones at a slower pace, which results in these pyramid-like shapes with sharp peaks and broad bases.

Despite all the scientific explanations, people continue to speculate about the origin of the Anlong Pyramids, with some claiming that they are ancient tombs built by an old civilization, others that they are prototypes of actual pyramids, and some going as far as saying that they are the work of aliens.


Pyramid-like natural structures have long fascinated humans, sparking all kinds of conspiracy theories. Remember this pyramid-shaped mountain in Antarctica?

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