SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A new CuriosityStream documentary is giving viewers an inside look at mysterious new chambers discovered deep inside Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. The 90-minute film, Scanning The Pyramids, premieres tonight at 10pm ET on CuriosityStream, where it is also available on demand.
Taking viewers behind-the-scenes, the documentary reveals how an international team of scientists with the Scan Pyramids mission used groundbreaking new cosmic ray technology and 3D virtual reality to look inside the enigmatic structure that's remained shrouded in mystery for centuries. The documentary captures the awe-inspiring experience of entering the pyramids to set up equipment and the jaw-dropping images created in immersive 3D VR, along with the challenges and risks of performing these intricate experiments in the unforgiving Egyptian desert.
Produced in collaboration with Bonne Pioche Productions, THIRTEEN Productions for WNET, Japan's NHK, and France Television, Scanning The Pyramids chronicles the challenging and exhilarating three-year journey to deploy muon radiography scanning and VR to detect a series of voids located inside Pharaoh Khufu's 45-story pyramid. While the voids await further exploration, their discovery has reinvigorated excitement surrounding the Great Pyramid.
Presented in ultra HD 4K, the CuriosityStream film, parts of which also appear on the PBS series "Secrets Of The Dead," features an extra 35 minutes of exclusive material only available to CuriosityStream viewers.
"The pyramids have fascinated both scientists and treasure-seekers for 4,000 years. Scan Pyramid's new techniques have allowed us to virtually 'x-ray' the massive monument and locate possible unknown chambers that may yet solve the mystery of how the pyramids were built," said Steve Burns, CuriosityStream's Chief Programming Officer.
"Ironically, King Tut was just a boy king, but he had amassed great riches that were found inside his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, 300 miles south in Luxor. On the other hand, Khufu was an important and long-serving pharaoh, yet nothing has ever been found inside his tomb, The Great Pyramid," Burns continued. "Could these new chambers hold his hidden treasure? The potential is extremely provocative."
The Great Pyramid at Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that remains intact, lending to its intrigue, but it also creates unique challenges for scientists exploring this fascinating structure. Protected by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities, access to Khufu's pyramid is tightly controlled and any physical exploration that might put the structure at risk is strictly prohibited.
Scanning The Pyramids follows the collaboration between Egyptian researchers led by Professor Hany Helal and a French software team from Dassault Systèmes led by Mehdi Tayoubi, in collaboration with French and Japanese teams specializing in muon radiography. This breakthrough technology uses cosmic ray muons that invisibly shower onto the Earth's surface from space, capable of penetrating tens of meters of rock and other matter. These rays are captured on film, similar to x-rays, which scientists can then translate into three dimensional images using virtual reality technology.
"This is exactly the kind of behind-the-scenes look at the technology and process of discovery that CuriosityStream viewers have come to expect from us," Burns said. "It's a unique perspective on our world that you won't find many other places."
Scanning The Pyramids is available to watch starting at 10pm ET, and on demand anytime, by starting a free trial at CuriosityStream.com.
Launched by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination where viewers can journey through our world and beyond. Our immersive experiences feature experts from Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough to Veritasium's Derek Muller, stunning visuals, and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, history, technology, nature, health and more. With over 1,700 features and series, including exclusive originals, CuriosityStream is available in over 190 countries to watch on TV, desktop, mobile and tablets. Find us on the web and via Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast, iOS and Android, as well as Amazon Channels, Sling TV, VRV, Comcast Xfinity on Demand, Layer3 TV and the Sony, LG, VIZIO and Samsung smart TV platforms.