Saturday, 18 May 2013

10 More Greatest Alternative Pyramids From Around The World (Listverse)

I've had an article published on listverse: 10 Greatest Alternative Pyramids From Around The World. I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. It features upside-down pyramids from Slovakia, giant pyramids of death to hold the bodies of 40 million people, and pyramids built by real aliens.

The list and the order are, of course, pretty arbitrary, and there were loads of pyramids I didn't include, either because I felt they were too well known, or were too similar to others on the list. So here are some other great alternative pyramids.

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

Set in the purpose-built modern capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, this 62-metre-high pyramid is built by one of the world's foremost architects, Norman Foster (he also did the Millau Viaduct and London's Gherkin, among many others). It glows lots of different colours at night. It was built as a permanent centre for the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, because religious leaders are said to love multi-coloured, glowing pyramids.

The Many Pyramids of Central America

Make no mistake, Central America has a lot of pyramids. Back in the day, i.e. anything beyond about 1000 years ago, the various civilisations were into all kinds of stuff, like deadly ball games, flattening the foreheads of newborns, and hanging around in sweat boxes. They also liked to build temples - and lots of them. Sometimes the temples were for the body of a king, and sometimes they were to mark the passing of a period of time, and sometime we don't really know what purpose they had, but the general form was pyramidal. Why? Because that's the easiest way to build a gigantic construction if you don't have cranes and steel and modern technology. From Teotihuacan to Palenque to Tikal to Chichen Itza, pyramids of all kinds of forms and sizes sprung up.

The Underwater Pyramid

Off the coast of Japan is a ruined underwater city, complete with a huge underwater pyramid, built by a mysterious Japanese Atlantic civilisation inspired by the mystical intervention of pyramid-shaped spacetrekkers. Just like all pyramids, really. Called the Yonaguni Monument, there is a passing resemblance to the man-made, but as usual it just takes a voice of reason to explain the phenomena: "I'm not convinced that any of the major features or structures are manmade steps or terraces, but that they're all natural," said Robert Schoch, a professor of science and mathematics at Boston University who has dived at the site. "It's basic geology and classic stratigraphy for sandstones, which tend to break along planes and give you these very straight edges, particularly in an area with lots of faults and tectonic activity."

The Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre is a former palace, now a world-famous museum, in the heart of Paris. Grand and impressive, in a mixture of French-Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles, and with its origins in the 13th Century, it really doesn't seem like the sort of place that would suit a 20-metre-high glass pyramid in the middle of city. But, you know, it kind of works. Built in the late 1980s, it serves as the entrance to the museum, and is a compelling and unusual focal point to the old palace courtyard.

The Other Egyptian Pyramids

The Pyramids of Giza aren't the only pyramids in Egypt - there are over a hundred others scattered around, and some are almost as big, and even older than the famous three. Curiously, it doesn't seem as though the Egyptians experimented with small pyramids - they kickstarted the whole pyramid building enterprise with a 62-metre-high step pyramid built by the 3rd dynasty pharaoh, Djoser. A few pharaohs later, we have Sneferu, who went pyramid crazy, building three. The first, at a site called Meidum, went a bit wrong, with it partly collapsing. So he tried again, at a site called Dahshur, but got the angles wrong and midway it had to be adjusted to avoid collapse - hence it's now called the Bent Pyramid. But third time lucky, and the magnificent Red Pyramid got it right - a colossal 104 metres high, making it the third largest Egyptian pyramid out there, behind two of the Giza ones. It very much set the precedent, and the three pyramids at Giza were built pretty soon after. Curiously, although loads of pyramids were built after the famous ones at Giza, the Egyptians never again attempted anything on the same scale.

The United States of Pyramids

 Thousands of years after Egypt went on its pyramid spree, the US has followed suit. Except, instead of using them to house the bodies of kings, they're used as casinos, indoor rainforests, and sports stadiums. The most famous, of course, is the Luxor Pyramid in Las Vegas, a 111-metre-high dark glass pyramid containing a hotel and casino and shoots a beam of light from its top. In Memphis, there is the Pyramid Arena, 98 metres high, formerly a 20,000-seat stadium, now being converted into shops. Slightly smaller is the Walter Pyramid, a 5000-capacity stadium in Long Beach, California. And finally, to rival the big three at Giza, we have the three pyramids at Moody Gardens, Texas. One is an aquarium, coloured bright blue; another is a rainforest, coloured green; and the third features a world of family-friendly scientific exhibitions and is, of course, bright pink.



  1. What about the Russian pyramids all over the country being built by Valory Uvarov. His pyramids leave the ones in America for dead when it comes to function as they do the real job of what they were originally intended to do and that is to slow the aging process.

  2. Please add 3 mega pyramids in India which is located Pyramid Valley International, Bangalore, Maheshwara Maha Pyramid, Hyderabad, Vasista Gowthami Pyramid, Rajahmundry. These three are very very powerful because of continuous meditations are going on everyday.

  3. the domestic dwellings associated with elite IN ADDITION TO ordinary Egyptians alike were constructed by perishable materials including mud bricks IN ADDITION TO wood, and get not survived. Peasants lived with simple homes, whilst the palaces of an elite were additional elaborate structures. several surviving New Kingdom palaces, such as anybody in Malkata IN ADDITION TO Amarna, show richly decorated walls AND floors in scenes associated with people, birds, water pools, deities AND geometric designs. keys to press structures including temples ALONG WITH tombs It were designed to last forever were created regarding stone instead involving bricks.

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