The World's Largest Monument Is Hidden Under A Mountain

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The World's Largest Monument Is Hidden Under A Mountain

When Spanish explorer Hernan Cortéz conquered the Aztec city of Cholula in what is now Mexico, the settlers built a large church on the top of a hill as a symbol of their conquest. At least, they thought it was a hill. In reality, it was a massive pyramid, with a base 1,480 feet (450 meters) square and a peak 217 feet (66 meters) tall. By the time Cortéz and his army arrived, the pyramid—known as Tlachihualtepetl, or "man-made mountain"—was already a thousand years old and hidden under layers of dirt and overgrowth. In fact, according to legend, no one even knew it was a pyramid until construction began on an insane asylum in 1910. This is likely due to the fact that it was built from mud bricks, which combined with humidity to create a prime place for tropical plants to grow. With a base four times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza and twice the volume, Tlachihualtepetl isn't just the world's largest pyramid. It's the world's largest manmade monument, period. Learn more about the Aztecs in the videos below.

The Rainbow Mountains Of China Need To Be Seen To Be Believed

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The Rainbow Mountains Of China Need To Be Seen To Be Believed

There are geological formations in China that have rightfully earned the nickname "the rainbow mountains." These colorful landscapes decorate the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province with colors not usually found in land formations. The mountains boast vertical stripes of vibrant reds, blues, purples, greens, and yellows. How did this natural formation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, gain its crayonbox colors? The mountain range is made up of densely packed layers of minerals and rocks of different hues, which were formed tens of millions of years ago. When the island that would become present-day India collided with the Eurasian tectonic plate over the course of millions of years, the result was this stunning mountain range. The layers of colors got crumpled up by the collision, exposing vertical lines of varying shades. But this geology is not unique. The Spectrum Range in British Columbia is similar to China's rainbow mountains. Watch the video below to learn about more amazing places on our planet.

The Mountainside Glass Walkways On China's Tianmen Mountain

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The Mountainside Glass Walkways On China's Tianmen Mountain

The closest you'll ever get to walking on clouds might be in China's southern province of Hunan. Here you'll find Tianmen Mountain, and the three high-in-the-sky glass walkways that sit alongside it. The Coiling Dragon Cliff skywalk, which may require the most bravery to traverse, opened to the public in August 2016.The Coiling Dragon Cliff is a transparent, glass walkway that sits above a 4,600-foot drop, and stretches for about 328 feet. The walkway hugs a cliff on Tianmen Mountain and juts out five feet from the huge rock. There are a dizzying 99 turns on the path, but Chinese officials have gone to great lengths to prove their glass skywalks are safe, including bashing the glass with sledgehammers until they cracked, and driving a car over them to prove they could withstand the pressure. Watch the video below to see people walking across one of these glass skywalks.

Mount Everest Isn't The Tallest Mountain In The World

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Mount Everest Isn't The Tallest Mountain In The World

Although Mount Everest has the highest altitude in the world, it's not technically the tallest mountain. If "tallest" means the height from a mountain's base to its peak, then both Denali and Mauna Kea are much taller than Everest. In fact, because the atmosphere above Mauna Kea tends to be free of clouds, it houses the world's largest observatory. Learn more about some of the world's most impressive mountains below.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Mt. Everest is still growing at a rate of approximately 4 millimeters per year. 0:39

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    If measured from its base, Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) is much taller than Mt. Everest. 2:00

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    If we measure in distance from the center of the Earth, then Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the tallest mountain on the planet. 3:02

Coffins Hang On Sides Of Mountains In Sagada, Philippines

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Coffins Hang On Sides Of Mountains In Sagada, Philippines

What seems like a spooky site on bluffs in the Philippines is really a time-honored tradition in a specific region of the country. The hanging coffins have existed on the sides of cliffs in Echo Valley in Sagada for at least 2,000 years. The Igorot people of this region engage in this practice because they feel that hanging their dead high on the sides of bluffs provides for their beloved deceased an easier passage to heaven. The placement also protects the dead from animals and floods. This culture embraces and prepares for death in advance-elders even carve their own coffins if they are physically able.

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Key Facts to Know

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    There are coffins hanging off the sides of cliffs in the Philippines. 1:05

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    Tribes believed that mounting coffins high on cliff faces allowed the deceased to be closer to their ancestral spirits. 1:23

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    The Igorot people of the Philippines would headhunt neighboring tribes to show courage. 1:41