When you think of Ancient Egypt, creepy is definitely one of the best adjectives to describe it. Mummies? Scarab beetles? The Book of the Dead? Their obsession with cats? It’s the stuff of nightmares and Hollywood blockbusters. But what if the creepiest secrets are still waiting to be uncovered?
For all of the information we do know, there’s still so much unknown. For example, what exactly is the Sphinx, and why does it face Pizza Hut? Imagine sitting down to enjoy your personal pan pizza while staring at the Sphinx. Nothing says creepy like a 65’ half man, half lion statue staring at you as you order pizza.
Did King Tut, Akhenaten, and Nefertiti actually have elongated skulls under those headpieces?
Before this gets too Stargate, let’s take a look at some intriguing facts that have already been discovered about Ancient Egypt. You may find out something you didn’t know before.
10. Mysterious Math
Ancient Egyptians are the undisputed world champions of math. We’re still scratching our heads over their collective mathematical genius. One such feat of genius is found at the inner sanctuary of the main temple in Abu Simbel. Here, every year, twice a year, the sun shines on the faces of Rameses II and the gods Amun, and Ra. Interestingly, it does not shine on the god Ptah, who is seated next to the other four. Ptah, as a god of the Underworld, must always remain in darkness. Another interesting note is that the sun only shined on Rameses’ birthday and date of coronation (October 22nd and February 22nd, respectively).
9. Freakish Pharoahs
You’ll soon understand that Egyptians loved honey. They didn’t just eat it, they also used it for fly control and birth control (more on that later). Pharoah Pepi reigned for 94 years, earning him the distinction as the longest reigning monarch in all of human history. Evidently, he lived that long by ingeniously avoiding flies. No fans or fly squatters in his court. Instead, Pepi preferred dousing his servants in honey and letting the flies stick to them quite literally. That’s one way to deal with pests.
8. Hair-raising Hygiene
Ancient Egyptians hated hair. They hated hair so much that both men and women shaved off their hair and preferred to be bald. In a society obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene, hair seemed undignified and disturbing–anyone looking at a used bar of soap can attest to that. For Ancient Egyptian, the answer was simple–shave it off.
It is true that Ancient Egyptians are often depicted with hair in carvings and paintings. Although they eschewed hair growing from their skin, they had no problems wearing wigs. In fact, the wigs were most likely akin to a hat that protected them for the strong desert sun.
7. Weird Workers
Quick quiz: what does the Wizard of Oz and Ancient Egypt have in common? Answer: the questionable practice of hiring little people based solely on their looks.
In Ancient Egypt, if you were born with dwarfism, you most certainly had a job. Little people were often hired for security sensitive jobs, such as gold workers. In fact, not only little people, but giants or other people with visibly unusual physical features were granted a job as a gold worker. The thought behind it? If a worker absconded with bags of gold, they could easily be spotted out in a crowd and apprehended.
6. Frightening Family Planning
Ancient Egyptians were the first society that we know of to create birth control. But, of course, this wasn’t the pill form. It involved crocodiles. In order to avoid pregnancy, Ancient Egyptians would mix together mud, honey, and crocodile dung. How delicious! The mixture would then be inserted inside of a woman prior to the evening festivities. The acidity from the crocodile dung was known as an effective spermicide.
5. Weird Weighings
Speaking of crocodiles, one of the creepiest gods of Ancient Egypt was the Ammut. Ammut was the god with the crocodile head. Ancient Egyptians believed in a lot of gods, but very few of them were scarier than Ammut, who could magically appear at any time and eat you if you did something bad. Ammut also figured prominently in death. At the point of death, Ancient Egyptians believed that the god Anubis was responsible for weighing your heart. Good works equaled to a light heart, but bad deeds made your heart heavy. If your heart was light, you gained entry into the Afterlife; if not, you gained entry into Ammut’s stomach.
4. Scary Science
The Great Pyramid has several entries on this list for a reason. There’s so much mystery surrounding its creation, location, and actual purpose. Although long thought to be the tomb of the Pharoah Khufu, some archeologists believe that the Great Pyramid was not a tomb at all, but rather an astrological instrument. Whether it’s a portal to the otherworldly is not verifiable, but there is science to support the theory that the three pyramids of Giza perfectly align with Orion’s belt.
3. Terrifying Temperatures
It’s already been established that the Ancient Egyptians were crazily accurate with math. This fact falls squarely into the “did they really know what they were doing?” category.
The temperature inside of the Great Pyramid of Giza is a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s some intense air conditioning in a desert environment where the temperature highs can reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit. But that’s not all. The temperature inside of the Great Pyramid also mirrors earth’s internal temperature of 68 degrees. Was it a coincidence? Or were Ancient Egyptians able to determine earth’s internal temperature and somehow re-create an artificial environment with the same temperature?
2. Perplexing Proportions
One of the most curious math mysteries is the specific location of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It may seem that it’s randomly positioned in the desert sands, but recent equations have shown us that the Great Pyramid is actually in the geographical center of landmass on the Earth.
In other words, if you had a Mercator Projection map of the world, and pinpointed the exact middle of landmass (east and west parallel and north and south meridian), you would also mark the spot of the Great Pyramid. Now, the Ancient Egyptians had no such access to such a map, and it’s questionable how much they knew of the world, which makes the location of the Great Pyramid even creepier.
1. Creepy Cats
Egyptians loved pets of all kinds, but cats were the most sacred of all animals and had their own cult religious movement for a while.
When a cat died, every member of the mourning family would shave off their own eyebrows in sorrow. If someone killed a cat, even by accident, he faced an angry mob and was sentenced to a poisonous snake pit.
Cats were so sacred to Ancient Egyptians that when a cat died, it was mummified and buried in a cat cemetery, along with mummified mice (presumably for Tom & Jerry style hijinx in the afterlife). Cats were also buried with a bowl of milk, in case they got thirsty in the afterlife.
As you can imagine, the cat mummification business was booming! In 1888, a farmer uncovered 80,000 cat mummies in one large tomb. Imagine being that guy.
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