Pyramids, Um Kalthoum, and former convict-cum-president Muhammad Morsi – one of these things is no longer our Egyptian claim to fame. We'll always have Um Kalthoum...
You think of pyramids, you think of Egypt – it's pretty simple. And while Egypt is home to the most famous pyramids in the world – because we're the Pharaohs, of course – most people don't know that there are other places around the globe who share our beloved claim to fame. Really, who thinks of Cambodia when someone says 'pyramids'? But alas, they are no longer ours alone. At least some of the other places that have pyramids are pretty epic, too – even though none will ever be as epic as us. Ever.
THE PYRAMIDS OF ANTARCTICA
What was thought to be merely the uninhabited pole of our planet turned out to be home to three pyramids. It took the world by surprise when Google Earth pictures revealed the existence of these structures that bear a freakish resemblance of the pyramids of Egypt – but covered with snow on all sides, of course. Is it possible that a group of Ancient Egyptians lost their way, found themselves in Antarctica, and decided to build a few pyramids to kill their boredom while waiting for help?
THE PYRAMID OF CESTIUS, ITALY
According to an article published by the University of Virginia, the choice of an Egyptian form for this tomb recalls the “Egyptomania” that occurred in Rome after Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 30 B.C. This Egyptian-style ancient pyramid is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. What makes this structure a true beauty is that it's covered completely with chunks of white marble and standing on a travertine foundation.
PYRAMID OF HELLENIKON, GREECE
Thid pyramid goes back to the early Helladic period, making it some 5,000 years old. The story behind this pyramid is quite the Greek tragedy, as it is said to be a memorial for the battle between the brothers Proetus and Akrissios – the grandsons of Danaos, the king of Argos – over who will be heir to the throne. There's a chance this pyramid even predates the Egyptian ones; however, there's no evidence of similarity between them.
PYRAMID OF KOH KER, CAMBODIA
Built by the local ruler of Koh Ker in the year 921 at the time of the Khmer Empire, the pyramid became a symbol of imperial power after the ruler topped it with Lingam (a symbol of the Hindu deity, Shiva), and later on the capital of the empire was moved to Koh Ker where this perfect-step pyramid lies. Unfortunately, this beautiful landmark remains unvisited by tourists, which gave Koh Ker the name of "the forgotten city."
GREAT PYRAMID OF CHOLULA, MEXICO
Dating back almost 3,000 years, The Mayan or Mesoamerican Pyramids were not exactly built according to the Egyptian definition of pyramids, but rather carry similarities to the ziggurats of Mesopotamia. The largest of these is the Great Pyramid of Cholula; it might shock you to know that it's the largest pyramid and monument to ever be constructed anywhere in the world, with a volume estimated at 4.45 million cubic metres – that's a serious figure! Not to provoke any King Khufu enthusiasts, but the Great Pyramid of Giza is about 2.5 million cubic metres in volume.
MAUSOLEUM OF THE FIRST QIN EMPEROR, CHINA
As with every other product in the world that China makes an "almost legit" copy of, the same goes with pyramids. Not exactly a pyramid in the conventional sense, the mausoleum was constructed from 246 to 208 B.C. in an almost pyramid-like shape, which was ordered by China's new 13-year-old emperor at the time. The madness of this kid is incarnated in the deadly traps this structure has, including a goddamn mercury river. This mausoleum was built to protect him in the afterlife. Most kids that age just cover up their legs with their blanket, but they're not emperors.
MEROE PYRAMIDS, SUDAN
While we get the fame for being the land of the pyramids, our southern neighboUrs in Sudan would have every right to get pissed at that. Most people don't know that Sudan actually has almost twice as many pyramids as Egypt (around 240), and they're built with stunning beauty, especially those in the Meroe Desert, north of Khartoum.