The Giza pyramid complex outside of Cairo, Egypt commands the respect and admiration of most people on the planet. The most imposing structure by far is the great pyramid, Khufu's king pyramid, 455 feet tall and 756 feet wide.
Conventional wisdom has long understood that the purpose of the pyramid was to honor Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and house his tomb.
Recently it was discovered that the complex did ultimately become a tomb, but this was not the original purpose of its construction.
"Well, we really missed the mark on this one," said Dr. Alfred Jacob Beasly, British-Canadian archeologist. "When we went digging in another corner of the compound, we found all the discarded mechanics."
Apparently the Great Pyramid was first built as the world's biggest water ride. The ride wrapped around the outside of the pyramid and the inside housed the water pumps.
"Yeah, somehow the whole complex got converted into a tomb sometime later," admitted Beasly. "All the boat pits we found make more sense now."
Scholars have now looked back at related hieroglyphics and see references to what loosely translates to "Ride the Nile" ride references.
"I never really got what these images were about," said Susan Biswell, Swiss Egyptologist.
She shared with us drawings showing people riding boats in a channel winding up around the pyramid that then splashed down a "log chute" run, straight down the side back to the base.
"Ancient Egypt was a very advanced civilization. We should have guessed something like this sooner."