Ancient Aliens: 20 Facts History Channel Got Totally Wrong

Once upon a time, The History Channel served as an educational resource with historical documentaries and worldly information shows.

Then the 2000s came along, and reality TV exploded. Entertainment proved to be a bigger cash cow than education, and The History Channel was one of multiple channels that began swapping out its former programming for entertainment and drama-focused reality programs like Ice Road Truckers and Alaskan Bush People. In 2008, the channel even dropped the "The" and "Channel", rebranding itself as History.

But the transformation would not be complete until 2009, with the premiere of Ancient Aliens. Presented in documentary format, the show is now in its 14th season and remains one of History's most popular shows.

And therein lies the problem. From proposing alien involvement with the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster to suggesting that macaroni & cheese is simply too tasty not to have some kind of alien origin, Ancient Aliens is full of wild conspiracy theories.

So instead of focusing on the show's most ridiculous claims, we've instead compiled (rather, narrowed down) a list here of some of the show's proven lies. Sit back and strap in for Ancient Aliens: 20 Facts History Channel Got Totally Wrong.

20 Carbon Dating is Unreliable

via Pinterest.com

The show's presenters have stated that carbon-14 dating can’t accurately tell the age of dinosaurs and therefore it can’t be trusted. But this is twisting facts. It’s actually radiocarbon dating, not carbon-14, that is the only kind of carbon dating actually used by paleontologists to estimate dinosaur age.

19 The Ancient Monument of Pumapunku Could Not Have Been Built by Ancient Humans

via Pinterest.com

The show claims that the granite and diorite used in Bolivia’s Pumapunku monument could have only been cut with tools that had diamond tips, which humans didn’t have in the era it was built. But Pumapunku isn’t made from granite and diorite at all. It’s red sandstone and andesite, which were commonly used by ancient humans

18 The Slabs of Pumapunku are Too Heavy for Humans to Move

via History.com

Going along with the above, Ancient Aliens also asserted that the stone slabs at Pumapunku are much too heavy for humans to move without any kind of machinery. Specifically, a single slab weighs 800 tons.

But that’s just false. The largest stone slab at Pumapunku actually weighs just 131 tons.

17 Pumapunku was Levitated into Place

via History.com

Another wild assertion by the “experts” on Ancient Aliens is that the structures of Pumapunku are too big and complex to have been moved into place by human means. Their solution? Levitation or some other kind of otherworldly force.

That’s interesting and all, but what they ignore is the fact that there are rope holds, grips and drag marks on every large slab at the site. All are signs of normal ancient moving methods.

16 The City of Tiwanaku was Built Between 14,000 and 17,000 Years Ago

via Pinterest.com

It’s not just the folks on Ancient Aliens that believe that this other ancient Bolivian city goes back to before other human structures — this common belief comes from explorer Arthur Posnansky’s assertion between 1910 and 1945 dated back over 11,000 years.

Thing is, researchers in the 1980s proved that there’s no way this city is that old. In fact, it was constructed between 100 and 300 AD.

15 Aliens Manipulated Dinosaur DNA

via Indy100.com

The guys on Ancient Aliens tell some blatant lies while arguing that aliens either caused dinos to go extinct or evolve. For example, the show’s asserted that aliens caused dinosaurs to evolve (or rather, devolve) into smaller, more harmless creatures like the coelacanth. Never mind the fact that coelacanths actually appeared more than 130 million years before dinosaurs did.

14 Ica Stones Are Authentic Ancient Artifacts

via Hiddenincatours.com

Part of the show’s “proof” is the engravings on Ica stones. The images on these stones of humans alongside dinosaurs and using advanced technology is presented as ancient evidence, when in reality they’re nothing more than a common hoax.

The Peruvian farmer who initially “found” the stones back in the 1960s later admitted to producing the images himself. They have since been replicated numerous times using modern tools.

13 Ancient Egyptians Had Airplanes

Via Wikipedia

In one episode, the show claimed that a carved wooden figure found in 1898 in an Egyptian tomb is evidence that aliens gave Ancient Egyptians the power of flight.

Never mind that small wooden carving is the Saqqara Bird and clearly depicts a bird, beak and eyes and all. No evidence of Ancient Egyptian planes (or any ancient aircraft) has ever been found.

12 Earth’s Volcanoes were Built By / Home to Extraterrestrials


This theory is one of those Ancient Aliens concepts that’s so out there it’s tough to believe even the show’s loyal viewers could fall for it. Are they completely forgetting about plate tectonics, and basic science? No evidence for aliens inside volcanoes has ever been found, though plenty of evidence for Earth’s natural construction of them has.

11 The Ruins of Heliopolis Stand on an Ancient Space Launchpad

via edhat.com

The “evidence” for this statement is the Trilithons, three heavy stone slabs that are the foundation for the Ancient Roman ruins of Heliopolis. The show says that these stones are between 800 and 1200 tons and must have been for a mysterious purpose.

In reality, the Trilithons are a retaining wall, not the foundation. The heaviest is 800 tons, not 1200.

10 Aliens Helped the Incans Build their Cities

Via Express

Ancient Aliens claims that Incan sites like Machu Picchu must have had extraterrestrial help because the stones appear “melted together”.

However, the show ignores the fact that no melt or scorch marks have been found on the stones, but plenty of chiseling, pit scars and hammering marks have. Numerous Incan stone hammers have also been found at the sites.

9 Statues Could Not Have Been Moved on Easter Island Because There are No Trees

via CBSnews.com

The show claims there’s no way the inhabitants of Easter Island could have moved their large stone sculptures into place because the island has no trees.

Nevertheless, pollen analysis and wooden artifacts show trees (specifically the Easter Palm) were once plentiful. Massive deforestation took place by 1400 AD as a result of human over-harvesting.

8 Aliens Cut off the Top of a Mountain

via Rocky Mountain Raw

The Ancient Aliens crew once excitingly talked about how aliens must have brought in some heavy machinery to sheer off the top of a mountain in Peru in order to clear a path for their spaceships.

The reality? The “mountain” they’re referring to is quite clearly a plateau, which is a common natural structure.

7 The Nazca Lines are Alien Landing Strips

via PBS.org

Also in Peru, the Ancient Aliens crew claims that the large, decorative Nazca lines could have been none other than the markings of an ancient airport.

However, they ignore the fact that many of the lines are in the shape of animals, which is contingent with the local ancient culture’s religious beliefs. The lines were also created fairly easily by moving aside rocks and topsoil.

6 Ancient Egyptians Had Light Bulbs

via microsoft.com

One of the main reasons behind this Ancient Aliens theory is that there’s no torch marks found in any Ancient Egyptian tombs or structures.

But this is false. Soot and torch marks have been found in every Ancient Egyptian structure. In fact, a modern ceiling cleaning at the Temple of Hathor unveiled a colorful painting hidden beneath hundreds of years of black soot.

5 Crystal Skulls are Evidence of Mysterious Ancient Lifeforms

The show’s belief in crystal skulls and their correlation to aliens makes one think they view the fourth Indiana Jones movie as a documentary.

While crystal skulls do exist and have even been placed in museums, every single one has been a proven fake made in the modern era.

4 The Mahabharata Talks About Nuclear Explosions

via Science Struck

The Ancient Aliens narrators claim that the Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata, describes atomic warfare among ancient civilizations.

But the Mahabharata does not talk about “explosions brighter than a thousand suns” and survivors losing their hair and nails. Instead, the passages quoted on the show come from a 1960 French conspiracy-theorist book, The Morning of the Magicians.

3 Mohenjo-daro Has Vitrified Rocks That Came from a Nuclear Blast

Via Wikipedia

A small amount of vitrified, broken pottery was found at the ancient Pakistani site of Mohenjo-daro, which the Ancient Aliens folks somehow twisted into “an epicenter of vitrification” that could have only come from a sudden blast of extreme heat, or nuclear explosion.

They also ignore the fact that vitrification happens in cases of long-term exposure to high heat.

2 Evidence Comes from Old Sanskrit Texts Written in 6,000 BC

via India Today

Just adding to the show’s lies is that fact that they once claimed that they had evidence from ancient Sanskrit texts that dated back to 6,000 BC.

It’s a small detail, but a falsehood nonetheless. The oldest Sanskrit texts are The Vedas, and they date back to between 500 and 1,500 BC.

1 Ancient Sumerian Texts Describe Beings Descending From the Sky

via History.com

In one episode, the show states that writings from Ancient Sumeria describes the Aunnaki, which they say directly translates to “those who from the heavens came”.

But that’s just wrong. Aunnunaki actually translates to “those of royal blood”. While the Sumerians may have believed that their rulers descended from gods, there is nothing that states they were otherworldly beings themselves.

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