Have you ever sat around and thought about how wild it is that our ancestors figured out how to build massive stone structures and nobody actually knows how they did it?! Yeah. Pretty wild. So wild that some people think that aliens must have built the pyramids (AHEM, looking at you, guy from Ancient Aliens). But researchers recently gained some insight into how, exactly, our ancestors managed these feats.

Two companies, Matter Design and CEMEX, designed huge concrete blocks that weigh up to 25 tons, yet can be moved by hand by a single person. How?!

Photo Credit: Matter Design

The blocks, also known as massive masonry units (MMUs), are made from concrete with varying densities, so the center of gravity can be precisely controlled. The MMUs also feature strategically placed bevels, handles, pivot points, rounded edges, and interlocking features.

A single human could never lift one of these MMUs. But one can absolutely walk them from place to place by rocking, tilting, pivoting, or rolling them.

Photo Credit: Matter Design

And if a couple of design and materials companies could achieve this, then it seems very plausible that ancient cultures devoted to building megalithic structures for religious or ritual purposes could have perfected similar techniques over thousands of years (without the help of aliens).

Check out this video:

Walking Assembly from matter design on Vimeo.

Ancient builders may have simply been masters of balance and leverage — and they may have a thing or two to teach us, too.