65 Amazing Egypt Facts that will surprise you | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The formal name of Egypt is the Arab Republic of Egypt.
- Egypt is the 30th largest country in the world by area. Egypt’s area is 386,560 square miles (1,001,450 square km).
- Egypt has the largest Arabic population in the world which is about 86 million.
- Approximately 99% of the population lives on about 5.5% of the land.
- The capitol of Egypt is Cairo it still stands as one of man’s oldest settlements and archaeologists have uncovered many older settlements.
- Egypt’s Nile River is the world’s longest, running 4,135 miles (6,670 km) and running through 9 countries.
- Amazing fact is that Bir Tawil is a strip of land between Egypt and Sudan that is not claimed by either country. It covers an area of 2,060 sq. kms.
- On average, only an inch of rain falls in Egypt per year.
- Egypt is the oldest sovereign state. Amazingly the first dynasty was formed in 3150 BC.
- The first pharaoh of Egypt is considered to be King Menes, who united the Upper and Lower Kingdoms in 3150 B.C. He named the capital of the united lands Memphis, which means “Balance of Two Lands.” Legend says he ruled for 60 years until he was killed by a hippopotamus.
- Pharaoh Pepi II (2246-2152 B.C.) had the longest reign in history for 94 years. He became Egypt’s king when he was only 6 years old.
- Egypt pharaoh Pepi II was so much afraid of flies he kept naked slaves near him smothered in honey to prevent flies biting him.
- Ramses II (1279-1212 B.C.) is often considered the greatest pharaoh of the Egyptian empire. He ruled Egypt for 60 years .He had over 90 children from eight official wives and nearly 100 concubines. Uniquely he had red hair.
- Ramses II mummy was publicly unwrapped in June 1886 in just 15 minutes. His body became contaminated by fungi and bacteria which ate him little by little. In 1975, scientists used gamma rays to sterilize his body and stored him in an antibacterial case.
- There were three female pharaohs, of whom the greatest was Hatshepsut (Reigned 1498-1483 B.C.).
- Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian or African.
- Hieroglyphs were developed about 3,000 B.C. and may have started as early wall paintings.
- In contrast to English’s 26 letters, there are amazingly more than 700 different Egyptian hieroglyphs. The last hieroglyphic inscription was made in 394 A.D. and the last demotic inscription in 452 A.D. Both were found at the temple of Isis in Philae.
- Around 332 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and founded Alexandria. A Macedonian dynasty ruled until 31 B.C.
- The lost Egyptian city of Heracleion was found after 1200 years under the sea.
- Amazing fact is that in 1888 , about 300000 mummified cats were found in Egypt. They were sold and shipped to England to be ground up and used as fertilizer.
- Near Tuna el-Gebel on the edge of Egypt’s Western Desert, scientists have unearthed more than four million mummies of a stork-like bird called an ibis.
Places / Architecture
- Most Ancient Egyptian pyramids were amazingly built as tombs for pharaohs , the rulers of Ancient Egypt and their families. To date, over 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.
- The fact is that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only surviving “seven wonders of the world”. Built in 2600 B.C. it was built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu Khufu (2589-2566 B.C.).It took 20 years to build.
- The famous Great Pyramid at Giza was built as a burial place for King and took more than 20 years to build. It is built from over two million blocks of limestone, each one weighing as much as two and a half elephants.
- Amazingly the Great Pyramid is the most massive building ever erected in the world It stands about 460 feet (149 m) high which is taller than the Statue of Liberty. The base of the Great Pyramid takes up almost as much space as five football fields..
- Amazing fact is that it was the oldest and tallest structure in the world for about 3, 800 years until the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889.
- It is estimated to have amazing 2,500,000 lime stone blocks that weigh from 2 to 30 tons each and there are some that weigh over 50 tons. How these blocks were transported and assembled into the pyramid is still a mystery. Modern technology cannot replicate it.
- Amazing fact is if the Great Pyramid were chopped into 12-inch cubes, there would be enough cubes to circle the moon almost three times.
- The Great Pyramid at Giza has vents pointing to the constellation of Orion so the mummy’s spirit could fly straight up to the gods.
- The Sphinx is the largest monolith statue in the world.
- The known tombs of Egyptian kings were all raided by robbers with one exception, the tomb of Tutankhamen (reigned 1334-1324 B.C.). It was discovered in 1922 and was full of priceless materials and beautiful workmanship.
- In 2011, archeologists discovered an enormous statue of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III (grandfather of Tutankhamen). One of the largest statues ever found, it was actually first discovered in 1923 and then rehidden.
- In an attempt to control the annual flooding of the Nile, one of the largest dams in the world was built in Egypt in 1971 called Aswan High Dam forming huge Lake Nasser.
- In France, a glass pyramid stands outside the famous Louvre museum as a tribute to the ancient Egyptians and their amazing world.
Ancient Customs & Culture
- The ancient Egyptians amazingly worshiped more than 1,400 different gods and goddesses. The most important god of all was Ra, the sun god.
- Slaves of owners could not be traded or sold after death so many were murdered and put to rest with their owners to accompany them in the afterlife.
- Amazingly both Egyptian men and women wore makeup. The eye-paint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead). As well as offering protection from the sun, the Egyptians believed makeup had magical healing powers.
- To stay cool and avoid lice, both men and women in ancient Egypt shaved their heads and often wore wigs. In fact, because wigs indicated social status, they became one of the most important fashion accessories in ancient Egypt. Rich people wore wigs made from human hair, while poor people wore wigs made from wool or vegetable fiber.
- Ancient Egyptians believed that mummification ensured the deceased a safe passage to the afterlife. They started making mummies around 3400 BC. In 2600 BC ancient Egyptians finally figured out that if they took out the body’s internal organs, the mummies would last instead of rot. They started drying the bodies out completely for 40 days before wrapping!
- A single mummy took 70 days to make and it is found in a research that Egyptians amazingly made total of 70 millions of them.
- Ancient Egyptians mummified not only people but animals as well. Archaeologists discovered a 15 feet long mummified crocodile.
- Amazing fact is that Christianity was the main religion in Egypt between the Fourth and Sixth Centuries.
- Ancient Egyptian women had more rights and privileges than most other women in the ancient world.
- Approximately 90% of Egyptians are Muslim , primarily Sunni.
- Tourism compromises 12% of the work force in Egypt.
- There are five million Face book users in Egypt, more than any other Middle Eastern country.
- Most of the Egyptian population still lives in the Nile river valley today which provides enough water and farm land to sustain the population of Egypt.
- The ancient Egyptians forged one of the earliest peace treaties on record. In 1259 B.C. Ramses II and the Hittite King Hattusili III negotiated a famous peace treaty. The Egyptian-Hittite treaty is now recognized as one of the earliest surviving peace accords.
- Amazing fact is that the penalty for killing a cat, 4,000 years ago in Egypt, was death.
- The oldest death sentence recorded is found in ancient Egypt. Found in the Amherst papyri, a teenaged male in 1500 B.C. is sentenced to kill himself by either poison or stabbing for practicing magic.
- The Egyptian flag is similar to the flags of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen and consists of three bands of colours from the Arab Liberation flag—red, white, and black—with the golden eagle of Saladin on the white band.
- In 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., between Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin, making Egypt the first Arab country to official recognize Israel.
- The 2011 Egyptian revolution began on January 25th when protestors focused on lack of free speech and free elections, police brutality, government corruption, high unemployment, inflation, and continued use of emergency law. An estimated 800 people died and over 6,000 were injured in the process.
- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had to resign after 2 weeks.The Egyptian revolution sparked other revolutions in Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Libya, and Bahrain.
- The oldest dress in the world was found in Egypt. It is 5,000 years old.
- Egyptians knew the existence of planets Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. They had names for them.
- The Egyptians invented the calendar. It had 365 days divided into 12 months. They came up with the idea in 4,241 BC. That was more than 6,000 years ago.
- Egyptians’ kept time by using advances fractions and dividing the day between sunset and sunrise to 1/12th of the day.
- The oldest surviving work about mathematics was written by the ancient Egyptian scribe Ahmes around 1650 B.C. Found on the Rhine Mathematical Papyrus, it is titled “The Entrance into the Knowledge of All Existing Things and All Obscure Secrets.
- The Berlin Papyrus (c. 1800 B.C.) contains directions for the oldest known pregnancy test. The test involved wetting cereals with urine. If barley grew, it meant the woman was pregnant with a male child; if the wheat grew, she was pregnant with a girl. If neither grew, the woman would not give birth.
- Egyptians invented many forms of musical instruments including the flute and trumpet
- The oldest board game known to man called Senet was invented in Egypt around 200 B.C.
- Recently found inscribed on a tablet is a cure for concrete which has been duplicated and found to be 10x stronger then today’s’ concrete mixture.
- Egyptians’ used the natural sand to make glass objects.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team