'Man-made pyramids' discovered on Antarctica

On Antarctica the 14 million square kilometres of deep and desolate ice covering the continent have puzzled generations of historians.

61% of all fresh water on earth is frozen within this enormous ice sheet but there has been no reason to believe that life forms have ever resided there.

See also: Adventurer sails to Antarctica on 100-year-old ship

See also: Photos from Captain Scott's fated South Pole mission go on sale

In 2016 a team of American and European researchers claimed to have found proof of an ancient Antarctica civilisation.

They reported three precisely shaped, four sided pyramids protruding through the tundra.

Online conspiracists claimed this was the work of a long-forgotten civilisation whose existence was finally being revealed to the world.

Recent scientific discoveries indicate Antarctica may once have been inhabited.

In 2009 pollen particles were found on the continent, suggesting tropical plant life may have once lived there.

Journalist Christopher Condon believes that Antarctica may actually be the long lost city of Atlantis.

First discussed by Plato, the ancient city is said to have been destroyed by natural disaster in 10,000BC - it has never been located.

Professor Charles Hapgood has theorised that the continent was home to an ancient civilisation which escaped or perished as natural disasters hit.

He explained the lack of material evidence with his theory of crystal displacement.

This suggests that every 20,000 to 30,000 years the earth's entire crust shifts with the most recent shift allegedly having taken place 12,000 years ago, moving Antarctica and burying settlements under thick layers of ice.

Others have contested that recent discoveries may not even be new, science journalist Alfredo Carbonetti, has traced sources which also mention these pyramid structures but refer to them as mountains instead.

Hapgood's theory about displacement has also been widely discredited because had it happened it would have wiped out all animals living on earth.

Pyramid formations are hardly unusual either - as they occur frequently in mountain ranges.

Crucially, further research has shown the continent has been covered in deep ice for at least 15 million years, nine million years before the first human ancestors came to earth.

There is no concrete evidence to suggest that these pyramids are anything other than natural rock formations.