There’s no doubt that the Pyramids of Egypt are some of the world’s great wonders,and whether you’ve been there or simply learned about them in school, they are elusive and mysterious. Many have wondered how they got there, who built them, did aliens have anything to do with it, what do they mean, and so on.

Unfortunately, there are some things we may never know (including how they were built), but here are some amazing facts science has come to understand over the years. Here are ten things you might not know about the pyramids.

  1. There are actually more than 140 of them in Egypt! The three major pyramids are those in the Giza Necropolis, but these are just a few of many. And it’s not just Egypt that has pyramids. In fact, it’s believed the largest pyramid that exists in the world is actually in Mexico. Because there are so many in Egypt, people often associate that country with pyramids.
  2. The largest pyramid in Egypt is the Great Pyramid of Giza, originally measuring around 481 feet high (today it’s more like 455 feet). It is said to be built from around 2.3 million blocks of stone. Many of these stones would weigh between 2 and 30 tons, but some might actually weigh more than 50 tons, which begs the question again – how did they get there?
  3. The oldest pyramid is believed to be the Pyramid of Djoser in the

    Pyramid of Djoser

    Saqqara Necropolis, dating back to the 27th Century BCE.

  4. The architect who designed the Pyramid of Djoser was called Imhotep and he was also a priest, a mathematician, and a healer.
  5. It’s believed that on average, each pyramid would have taken around 200 years to build. And around 100,000 people are believed to have been required to build them.
  6. The Great Pyramid was actually the tallest man-made structure in the world until the Lincoln Cathedral was built in England in the 1300s.
  7. The Great Pyramid is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – and it’s the only one still standing.
  8. The Giza Pyramids were once covered with polished limestone that had a mirror effect when the sun shone on them. What an amazing sight that would have been! The ancient Egyptians called them “Ikhet”—which means Glorious Light—and apparently they could be seen from miles away.
  9. While the temperature outside the pyramids generally ranges from 60 degrees to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, inside the pyramids the temperature actually remains at an average of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
  10. Though apparently built to serve as royal tombs of pharaohs, a mummy of a pharaoh is yet to actually be found inside a pyramid.