Egypt's Great Pyramid has mystery heat spots, scientists say

The Great Pyramid in Giza had researchers seeing spots recently.  Heat spots, that is.

While on the hunt for hidden chambers within the pyramid, a group of architects and scientists from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan discovered that higher temperatures registered on three adjacent stones located at the bottom of the Egyptian pyramid.

The team uncovered the stones through infrared thermography, a process that detects infrared energy emitted from an object, converts it to temperature, and displays an image of temperature distribution.

Related: King Tut’s tomb may contain two hidden chambers, experts say

The thermal scanning was carried out during sunrise, as the sun heats the structures from the outside, and then during sunset as the pyramids are cooling down. The speed of the heating and cooling phases was used to uncover "hypotheses" such as empty areas in the pyramids, internal air currents, or different building materials used.

The heat spots, dubbed “thermal anomalies,” also detected in the upper half of the Great Pyramid.

[REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany]

[REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany]

In a statement, which was reported by the BBC, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry said, "To explain such anomalies, a lot of hypotheses and possibilities could be drawn up: presence of voids behind the surface, internal air currents."

The Ministry noted that the experts had "concluded the existence of several thermal anomalies that were observed on all monuments during the heating-up or the cooling-down phases."

The statement added that a "particularly impressive" anomaly was found at the ground level on the eastern side of the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu. Khufu’s pyramid was built during the Fourth Dynasty, about 2613 - 2494 BC and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

While showing reporters the three stones that registered higher temperatures, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said, "The first row of the pyramid's stones are all uniform, then we come here and find that there's a difference in the formation."

The BBC also reported that the Great Pyramid will be the subject of more investigation during the Operation Scan Pyramids project, which began on Oct. 25 and is expected to last until the end of 2016.

Archaeologists elsewhere in Egypt have also been working to reveal more of the country's ancient history. In September archaeologists said that King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings may contain two hidden chambers, further fueling speculation that they could lead to Nefertiti’s tomb.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.