Fascinating Facts About The Pyramids We Bet You Didn’t Know

Not only are the pyramids still one of seven wonders of the world, but they are also full of secrets. The pyramids might hold proof of advanced technology and symbols that are hard to believe or understand.

There Are More Than Just Three Pyramids

pyramid
Photo: gaurav d lathiya / Unsplash
Photo: gaurav d lathiya / Unsplash

The three famous pyramids in Giza the Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Great Pyramid of Khufu. But these are just the largest. In fact, as many as 140 pyramids in total have been discovered in the area of Ancient Egypt.

The Great Pyramid Was The Tallest Building For 3,800 Years

high pyramid
Photo: jeremy bishop / Unsplash
Photo: jeremy bishop / Unsplash

Move over, Burj Al Arab! Until the 19th century, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made building. It was made about 4,500 years ago, making it even more impressive that they were able to build something so giant using ancient technology.

Egyptians Used Astronomy To Guide Their Construction (Not The Horoscope Kind)

sun
Photo: thais cordeiro / Unsplash
Photo: thais cordeiro / Unsplash

According to a British Egyptologist, the stars were a guiding force in how the pyramids were aligned. Research shows that the Big Dipper and Little Dipper were used to align the pyramids in a north-south direction so accurately that it only had a margin of error of up to 0.05 degrees.

Unlike What Everyone Thinks, The Pyramids Weren’t Built By Slaves

GettyImages-526177502
Photo: Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo: Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images

The pyramids were actually built by paid workers. So many skilled artisans wanted to be involved in the construction of something they knew would be great. Research shows that the builders were treated very well and even honored, to the point that many of them who died during the construction were buried next to the final resting place of the Pharaoh.

The Bricks Weigh More Than An Elephant

bricks
Photo: ricardo gomez angel / Unsplash
Photo: ricardo gomez angel / Unsplash

The pyramids were built with 50-ton stone blocks. In fact, they were constructed with 2 million bricks, so how they transported and lifted such heavy weights without technology or industrial machinery is still a huge mystery.

The Inside Tunnels Of The Pyramids Are Like A Big Labyrinth

GettyImages-1205394899
Photo: Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua via Getty Images
Photo: Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua via Getty Images

Another sign of how advanced their civilization was are the tunnel systems that go deep beneath the desert. They were carved from limestone and not all of them have been discovered. Every time that a new tunnel system is discovered, they reveal new passageways, hidden chambers, and treasures.

It Took A Whole 200 Years To Build The Pyramids

egypt
Photo: ahmad ajmi / Unsplash
Photo: ahmad ajmi / Unsplash

Imagine the number of people that contributed to this project over two centuries. This includes the time effort required to build all 138 pyramids. This is because they weren’t just building at random, but positioning them in such a specific relation to the stars.

The Pyramids Are Built Where The Sun Sets

sun
Photo: simon matzinger / Unsplash
Photo: simon matzinger / Unsplash

All of the pyramids in Egypt, even those built on the Giza plateau, were placed on the west bank of the Nile. This was to coincide with the location of where the sun sets, a symbol that ancient Egyptians associated with the realm of the dead.

The Pyramids Could Have Required About 100,000 Workers

GettyImages-588208060
Photo: Culture Club/Getty Images
Photo: Culture Club/Getty Images

The number of workers hasn’t been confirmed, but the estimates for how many would have been required to build something so giant and intricate could have been as high as 100,000 people.

They Used To Shine And Shimmer Like Gold

pyramids
Photo: paradeep gopal / Unsplash
Photo: paradeep gopal / Unsplash

When they were first built, ancient Egyptian pyramids were covered in a layer of well-polished limestone. This covering gave them such a shimmer that they sparkled like diamonds from miles away when the sun reflected on them. Unfortunately, the limestone has broken off over the years.

Pyramids Have 20-Ton Doors That You Can Still Move With A Single Push

GettyImages-929968310
Photo: DEA / S. VANNINI/ Getty
Photo: DEA / S. VANNINI/ Getty

Can you imagine pushing open a 20-ton door? You’d be surprised at how easy it is to push this one, as it is so perfectly balanced from the inside. The doors are hidden from the outside. We still don’t know how they could have cut, placed, and balanced them so accurately.

Pharaohs Believed The Pyramids Would Let Kings Ascend To Godhood

GettyImages-1132282809
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images

The pyramids’ intention was to help kings ascend to Sun Ra, the god of the sun. That’s because, at the time, kings were thought to be deities living on Earth who needed to be returned home when they died. For that reason, they also buried them with everything that they could need in the afterlife including animals, servants, and gold.

The Pyramids Still Have Their Guard, The Sphinx

jose-ignacio-pompe-XRcmriVYmA8-unsplash
Photo: jose ignacio pompe / Unsplash
Photo: jose ignacio pompe / Unsplash

The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra. It has the body structure of a lion and the head of a pharaoh. The sculpture is said to be guarding the pyramids. It is also the largest monolith statue in the world.

One Theory Says The Pyramids Are At The Exact Center Of All Landmass On Earth

center
Photo: spencer davis / Unsplash
Photo: spencer davis / Unsplash

Here is a crazy theory that was discovered In 1877 by Dr. Joseph Seiss. His research showed that the pyramid of Giza is located exactly at the intersection of the longest line of longitude and the longest line of latitude. This puts it exactly at the center of all the landmass of our planet!

The Temperature Inside Is Somehow Always Kept at A Cool 20°C

GettyImages-1205268820
Photo: Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Getty Images
Photo: Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Getty Images

This might be the mother of all air conditioners. Even though Egypt was and is very hot, and its temperature varied, inside the pyramids, it has never dropped from 20 degrees Celsius. We have no idea how they managed to ventilate it and design it that way!

We Still Can’t Recreate The Mortar They Used

GettyImages-1206946953
Photo: Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP via Getty Images
Photo: Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP via Getty Images

Although scientists have analyzed the mortar used for the construction many times, they still can’t determine its composition or use our advanced technology to recreate it. All we know is that it is made from processed gypsum, and it’s very different from the cement we use. Mortar is what supports the joints of the stones as they were placed, all 500,000 tons of them.

The Pyramids Have Eight Very Precise Sides, Not Four

GettyImages-1189433806
Photo: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP via Getty Images

You might think the pyramids only have four sides at first glance, but it is an eight-sided structure. Research suggests it’s to keep the casing stones in place. What’s interesting is that sides indent by precisely one degree of a half-degree. That would be so hard to do even today.

There Is Actually No Sign Of Hieroglyphs

GettyImages-1201465559
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images

You might think Egypt and the pyramids are synonymous with hieroglyphics, but there is no sign of writing or hieroglyphics within the Great Pyramids. Perhaps they were trying not to spill their secrets?

Mathematical Constants Show Knowledge of Pi Before Pi Was Even Recognized

pyramid
Photo: fynn schmidt / Unsplash
Photo: fynn schmidt / Unsplash

Subtracting the Great Pyramid’s length with its height gives 314.16—100 times pi. Then, the two sides together, in meters, make 100 times Phi (the Golden Number) squared. However, pi is a mathematical constant that wasn’t even named until 1793.

The Pyramids Are Practically Indestructible Even Though Attempts Have Been Made

wind
Photo: gaurav d lathiya / Unsplash
Photo: gaurav d lathiya / Unsplash

Al-Aziz, a Kurdish ruler and the second Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, tried to demolish the Giza pyramids in the 12th century. He had to give up at some point because it was way too hard. All he managed to do was make a hole in the north face of Menkaure’s Pyramid.