Heb-Sed After a pharaoh had ruled for 30 years, they took place in a strange ritual, known as Heb-Sed, in order to prove that they still had the power and strength necessary to rule the kingdom. The ceremony, which once initiated took place every three years until the pharaoh’s death, saw them dressed in a short kilt, with a bull’s tail on their back, as they were forced to run as fast as possible around a race track. In early practices of the ceremony, any pharaoh too unfit to complete the course was sacrificed and replaced with a fitter successor. Source: Mental Floss White Pyramids When the Great pyramid of Giza was completed in 2560 BCE, it was plated with a smooth surface of polished, white limestone, which gleamed in the sun’s light. However, in 1301 CE, a massive earthquake hit Egypt and loosened many of the casting stones. The damage to the outer pyramids prompted rulers to reuse the stones to build mosques in Cairo. As impressive as it still looks, what can be seen now of the Great Pyramid of Giza is just its core structure. The Female Pharaoh One of the most successful pharaohs to rule Ancient Egypt was almost lost to history, until her story was uncovered on temple walls during the 19th century. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Ancient Egypt around 1478 BCE. During her reign, Egypt enjoyed great peace and prosperity. Hatshepsut cultivated beneficial trade routes and oversaw incredible construction projects throughout her kingdom. However, 20 years after her death, her successors began a campaign of erasing Hatshepsut from history. Statues of her were destroyed and her name was scraped off the buildings built under her rule. Source: Discovery Egypt Sunken Cities Thonis-Heracleion, one of the greatest cities of ancient Egypt, remained lost for 1,000 years, until it was re-discovered underwater only 20 years ago. Thought to have been founded in 7 BCE, Thonis-Heracleion was a major trade center, linking ancient Greece, Egypt, and the wider Mediterranean. Archaeologists excavating the site have found a host of perfectly preserved pillars of hieroglyphics, as well as statues of Greek Gods and rulers depicted in the fashion of Egyptian pharaohs. It is thought that the discovery of the lost city will transform our understanding of the deep connection between the ancient civilizations. Source: British Museum Masturbation Rituals In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the God Atum created the universe by masturbating into the vast nothingness, meanwhile the other Gods spontaneously grew out of Atum’s ejaculate. The ebb and flow of the river Nile was also attributed to Atum’s semen. This concept inspired the annual Pharaoh ceremony, in which, as God’s representative on earth, the Pharaoh had to recreate the creation myth. In front of a crowd, the Pharaoh would masturbate and ejaculate into the river Nile, in order to ensure a year of bountiful harvest. Source: Sex and Society Biblical Plagues Scientists have found evidence that the Biblical plagues that ruined Ancient Egypt in the Old Testament were due to global warming and a volcanic eruption. The reported plague of the Nile, which turned the river’s water into blood 3,000 years ago, is hypothesized to have been caused by the arrival of bacterium, known as Burgundy Blood algae, which stains water red. The scientists claim that the algae attracted frogs, lice, and flies, which led to diseased livestock and boils. Furthermore, there is evidence that the Santorini volcano, which erupted 600km away, threw ash into the air as far as Egypt, which would have blocked out the sun and plunged Egypt into darkness. In Ancient Egyptian mythology, many deities were married to their siblings. Although there is little evidence to suggest that common Egyptians married their siblings, incest was rife for generations of the royal family. Due to siblings marrying each other, many members of the royal family, such as Tutankhamun, suffered from a range of malformations, infections, and genetic diseases. He suffered from weak bones and was unable to walk without help, contributing to his early death at age 19.