The Great Pyramids of Giza have stood tall for 4500 years and remain as the last wonder of the world to stand intact.
Too big for the British Museum to steal and too strong to be destroyed by future eras, the Pyramids of Giza have for thousands of years inspired awe and wonder, but for some, they also inspired crazy theories about their construction and purpose. For a bit of fun, we thought we’d take a look at the weirdest and wackiest theories out there.
There are some pretty wacky theories that the Pyramids of Giza date back not just 4500 years, but that they actually coexisted with dinosaurs. However, cranking the insanity all the way to 11 are those that claim the ancient Egyptians used tamed dinosaurs to build the pyramids.
Via What Culture
With the aid of truly awful Photoshop skills, conspiracy websites spread the image of Mr. Nabir Ibn Al-Sammud pointing at what is supposedly proof of the domestication of dinosaurs in ancient Egypt. The supposed archaeologist, who in the pictures is actually Don Patton, an American creationist, is said to have found papyri describing “beastly creatures” of an “enormous size.”
Putting all doubt to rest that they were actually referring to dinosaurs, it is even claimed that papyri and ancient Egyptian inscriptions describe animals who “can kill an army of men” with a swish of their tail and “whose necks reach out to the sky.” Needless to say, there is no Nabir Ibn Al-Sammud who is an archaeologist at Cairo University and this imagined person certainly isn’t one of “Egyptology’s most eminent figures” as claimed.
While Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, jokingly tweeted that Pyramids were built by aliens, some take the idea a bit too seriously. Alleging that the coordinates of the pyramids match the speed of light, proponents of the idea argue that there’s no way that mere humans 4500 years ago could have had this knowledge. Like with many things, the truth is much more boring, as laid out by Full Fact, who expose this “evidence” as being completely reliant on some heavy and deliberate manipulation of the numbers to make the theory work.
People who subscribe to this theory often allege that the pharaohs were human-alien hybrids or just fully alien and that it was only by extra-terrestrial technology or even telekinesis that such large and heavy blocks could be moved. However, innumerable experiments have been done using ramps, wet sand, and pulleys that show it would have very much been possible to drag up these enormous lumps of stone.
Dating back to Medieval Europe, theories emerged that the Old Testament described the Pyramids of Giza as grain stores. It was alleged that Jesus Christ’s father Joseph interpreted the ruling pharaoh’s nightmares of seven starving cows eating seven healthy ones as a divine sign to build the pyramids to store grain to ward off a coming seven years of famine. While this idea died out 500 years ago, the age of conspiracy seems to have reawakened this theory for some. Amazingly, a contender for US president in 2016 by the name of Ben Carson jumped to the conspiracy theory and defended his position regardless of the amount of ridicule he received.
The fabled lost city of Atlantis as described by Plato has been a constant source of fascination and wonder for the conspiracy-minded for centuries. However, some even connected the Pyramids of Giza to this lost city and claim that the Pyramids of Giza were not built by the ancient Egyptians, but rather by the Atlanteans. The Atlanteans are, not coincidentally, described as European, and so giving them credit for the construction of the pyramids carries on the usual tendency of conspiracy theories refusing to accept that people outside of Europe could be capable of such wonders.
Via Red Queen Musings
Proponents of the idea, seemingly wishing to offend those with ancient civilizations around the world, claim that the prevalence of pyramids from the Inca civilization in Peru and elsewhere in the world prove their theory of this ancient globe-wide civilization. Incredibly, two German pyramidologists even defaced the pyramids to carbon date the stone to prove their allegation that the pharaoh Khufu only popped his name on the Pyramids of Giza to take credit for them.
Trying to explain how such heavy blocks of stone could be lifted by mere humans, some on the internet believe that they were actually built by an ancient race of humans that stood at least 12 feet tall. What’s their proof you may ask? As many of the statues of pharaohs are quite large, a lot of theorists believe that they depict the actual size of pharaohs back in the day. However, it’s important to remember that statues of pharaohs like the Statue of Liberty aren’t to scale and that Egyptian art wasn’t too fond of the idea of scale.
Another one of the most absurd theories behind the construction of the pyramids is that they weren’t built to be tombs but are actually Noah’s Ark as described in Genesis. Built by Noah to save humanity from the coming flood, it is claimed that the pyramids were boarded by people and animals to survive the great flood. Despite the fact that I’m pretty sure the pyramids wouldn’t float, “evidence” is put forwards nonetheless. With some dodgy translations of old biblical texts and imaginative interpretations of 15th-century Italian art, however, some pyramidologists have argued very seriously for this explanation of how the pyramids were built.
Via Green Prophet
When the science and facts don’t fit the theory, change the science and the theory. Some have alleged that the Pyramids of Giza were built with ancient technology that was lost to time. Pointing to fantastical and bizarre interpretations of images of pharaohs, they claim that the images depict the power of some ancient Egyptian pharaohs and priests to move the world with their minds.
The more scientific-sounding, but equally ridiculous idea is that they were moved by a process called acoustic levitation. Apparently, the ancient Egyptians supposedly hit the stones with hammers until a certain vibration was reached and the stones were then effortlessly moved like a hovercraft on a thin layer of air.
After living in Cairo for nearly a decade, I’ve met my fair share of people visiting the country with beyond-wacky ideas about the pyramids. One time, I met a Canadian guy in a Downtown bar who claimed that entering the pyramids charged his iPhone to full battery. Thing is, he is not alone in his theory that the Pyramids of Giza are actually huge batteries or electricity generators. Some believe that the gold tops that are assumed to have topped the pyramids were conductors for lighting or some sort of unknown cosmic power source.
Via Caiga Quein Caiga
With stories of unknown chambers hidden from the world and false claims that unusual signals are picked up by scientific instruments from the pyramids, some have speculated that the Pyramids of Giza are in fact alien spaceships. After laying dormant for 4500 years, some allege that one day they will suddenly fly off and disappear off into the sky. Pointing to supposed evidence on temple walls on objects they claim are spaceships and some (very badly edited!) videos on YouTube of spaceships zooming around the Giza plateau, they claim the evidence is irrefutable.
The truth is that the ancient Egyptians were an incredible civilization with an immense knowledge of astronomy, engineering, and all types of sciences. They were fully capable of building the pyramids and we have a pretty good idea of how they did it. It is still funny though to go through all these conspiracy theories as each one has proven to be more creative than the next.