It’s a running
theme here at Cracked that a lot of what we think we know about
history has been filtered through many centuries of utter bulls__t.
Our image of the past is largely made up of Hollywood inventions,
propaganda and uneducated guesses.
So you will
probably be surprised to find that…
Pyramids Were Smooth, White and Shiny
We get so busy
being amazed by the Pyramids, with their massive, meticulously layered
sandy golden bricks, that we forget that what we’re seeing are the
broken-down remnants. If you could see them new, you’d barely recognize
them. They were much more awesome back then.
What we think
of today as the Pyramids are really just the exposed layers of the
base. The original pyramids lit up like the Times Square of
ancient Egypt. Egyptians were all about having the maximum amount
of glittery goodness, especially when it came to death.
And since the
Pyramids were the tombs of the pharaohs, they made sure they were
the biggest, most sparkly things of all. The original outside consisted
of smooth, white limestone that hid the layers of brick, giving
the effect that a pyramid was one giant solid piece. Don’t take
our word for it; you can still see bits of that decorative layer
on some of them:
crunchy candy shell was then polished until it was on the verge
of blinding from all the light it would reflect from the sun
or moon. It was said that they could be seen from miles away, even
during the night.
Of course that
wasn’t enough, so the capstone was then plated in gold or electrum.
Had the technology existed, we’re sure the pharaohs would have stuck
24-inch chrome rims on them, too.
Why We Picture
looking at today are the equivalent of sports cars that have been
long forgotten in some junkyard.
time have been beating down the pyramids for four and a half thousand
years. Well, partly it was time, but mostly it was assholes. Those
shiny layers of white and gold? They were stripped off and used
in the construction of Medieval Cairo, and there are cracks and
holes where 19th century treasure hunters tried to get in with pickaxes
and in one unfortunate case, dynamite.
Oh don’t worry
about it looters, those were only the greatest architectural accomplishments
of the Ancient World. We’re sure what you needed the stuff for was
way more important.
Sure, the T-Rex
may be the go-to killer dinosaur, but everyone who’s anyone knows
that Velociraptors were the real baddest asses of prehistoric times.
Cracked Paleontologists theorize that if it wasn’t for a giant boulder
shot from outer space wiping them all out, Velociraptors would be
ruling the planet today, only keeping humans around for food and
beasts of yore looked like miniaturized Tyrannosaurs, but sleeker,
quicker and more dangerous. The dinosaur Kobe to the T-Rex’s Shaq,
if you will. Anyone who’s seen Jurassic
Park has a pretty good idea of what Raptors looked like.
Well… except for one minor detail.
They had feathers.
Not just a few here and there either. But a full on, honest to goodness
coat of teeth-to-tail FEATHERS.
Now, it would
be awesome if this meant they could fly, but obviously if they could
do that, you’d already damned well know about it. No, it turns out
Velociraptors were just big fluffy looking lizards, who most likely
used the feathers to show off to other raptors, or in mating rituals.
Apparently Raptor ladies were impressed if you looked like the bastard
offspring of a komodo dragon and Big Bird.
Why We Picture
didn’t know about this until 1998, when a bone proving the extent
of quill knobs on Velociraptors was discovered, and many a childhood
Here’s to hoping
they do a Star
Wars-style special edition for Jurassic Park, with
updated, more accurate CGI dinosaurs. That should be goddamned hilarious.
Statues Were Brightly Painted and Kind of Stupid Looking
do you picture in your head when we say, "Ancient Greece"?
If you’re like most people you either picture lots of dudes standing
around in togas, or white marble statues with no pupils in their
statues made of pure white marble, depicting the austere beauty
and power of epic gods and heroes, have made quite an impression
on history. Renaissance sculptors carved their own marble statues
based on the belief that that’s how the ever wise Greeks did things.
looked more like someone crashed their LGBT pride parade into a
Mardi Gras Festival.
using the awesome powers of lasers and s__t (no,
seriously!) have found that once completing the iconic marble
statues and buildings we know today, the Greeks covered them head
to toe in bright primary colors. Greek sculptors worked together
with painters to come up with psychedelic patterns and colors to
make their statues and buildings pop.
So in the midst
of all that theorizing and philosophizing, the Greeks were also
really focused on making sure their day to day life looked like
the album cover of Magical Mystery Tour. Oh, and you know the iconic
Parthenon? Based on the way buildings were painted back then, it
was most likely an eye-searing mash of bright yellow, red and blue.