The World's Largest Monument Is Hidden Under A Mountain
1 of 6
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 Eight Faces Of The Great Pyramid Of Giza
2 of 6
The base of the Great Pyramid of Giza is a square, right? Well, not quite. Despite what you may think about this ancient structure, the Great Pyramid is an eight-sided figure, not a four-sided figure. Each of the pyramid's four side are evenly split from base to tip by very subtle concave indentations. It is believed that this discovery was made in 1940 by a British Air Force pilot named P. Groves as he was flying over the pyramid. Groves reportedly noticed the strange sight and took a photograph showing shadows that reveal the indentations. Some believe these subtle lines are only visible from above, and at dawn and dusk on the spring and autumn equinoxes. This leads some conspiracy theorists to think that ancient Egyptians built the pyramids to, perhaps, communicate with something above. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
Mount Everest Has "Pyramids Of Human Excrement"
3 of 6
There are plenty of reasons the trek up Mount Everest is grueling and unpleasant: the low oxygen levels, the bitter cold, the dangerous terrain. Add one more unlikely headache to that mix: piles of human excrement, everywhere. Mount Everest has a huge problem with human feces, and it's only getting worse. Littering every one of the four sleeping areas, as well as on the way up the peak, are mounds of poop left by hikers over the years. Many climbers believe the weather conditions on Mount Everest will keep it clean, but that's not the case. One problem for hikers is that melting snow to drink water will likely yield in feces-contaminated water.
How Were The Egyptian Pyramids Built?
4 of 6
The Ancient Egyptians weren't using wheels when the pyramids were built, and had to rely on other methods to transport and lift millions of stones into place. One theory postulates that the workers dragged the stones on sleds over sand that had been wetted to reduce friction. Contrary to popular belief, these workers were probably skilled craftsmen, not slaves.
Key Facts to Know
The Ancient Egyptians may have transported the rocks for the pyramids on sleds. 1:56
The granite quarry where Egyptians might have acquired stones for the pyramids is nearly 1,000 km away from Giza. 3:07
When they were built, the pyramids at Giza were covered with white limestone. 4:41