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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/GravityFalls http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gf_fearamid_resize.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:There's fear amidst the Fearamid...]]
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In the distant past, many civilizations built pyramids as monuments. The most famous are those of [[BuildLikeAnEgyptian Egypt]], followed by the Mayan pyramids in Mexico. They have also been found in Sudan, Iran, and China. The reason for the pyramid shape is quite simple and practical - 80% of a pyramid's mass is in the lower half, meaning that it is the most practical shape to support a large building. It's the form of stone building most likely to still be standing in a recognizable shape when the archaeologists show up a thousand years later.

However, due to a mixture of the distinctive geometrical shape and the immense labor required to build them, a lot of people have assumed there must be some special significance to the shape. Or that they were built by [[AncientAstronauts aliens]], because, people with Bronze Age tools could not have designed such accurately geometric monuments. Predictably, this also shows up in fiction. During the [[TheSeventies 70s]] there was an actual fad about the pyramids serving as a focus of cosmic energies ('pyramid power') and that resting in houses or boxes shaped like them could grant many physical and mental benefits. [[MundaneUtility And sharpen razor blades.]]

There is also the incorrect belief that the Egyptian Pyramids were built by slaves. [[DatedHistory In actuality]] they were most likely built by volunteers who believed that, by participating in the creation of the Pyramids, they can get a share of the Pharaoh's luxurious afterlife, sometimes working along with native Egyptian peasants who had no work to do during the Nile's flood season; they may have been press-ganged into it, but it's just as likely that they were enticed with offers of food (grain, veggies, and beef) and beer in exchange for their labor (the invention of currency was still 2,000 years in the future, so that was the equivalent of paying wages). They also could have been conscripted peasants, like the ''corvee'' of Pre-Revolutionary France or the Czech ''Robot.'' [[note]] Read: Peasants without animals don't really have much to do a good part of the year, so the government/nobles would use them for (unpaid) labor, this being the way nearly all pre-modern public works were built. Some do consider it a ''lesser form'' of slavery. Yes, the word 'robot' does come from the Czech ''Robot.''[[/note]] It was still quite a feat of engineering, organization, and patience, but not necessarily the result of blood-soaked tyranny HollywoodHistory would present. Not related to the other kind of [[FingerTenting pyramid of power]], or the [[Series/{{Pyramid}} pyramid that offers cash]].


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Millennium Puzzle in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is in the shape of a pyramid, as well as the aptly-named Pyramid of Light from ''Anime/YuGiOhTheMoviePyramidOfLight''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheCartoonHistoryOfTheUniverse'', the chapter on Ancient Egypt briefly mentions PyramidPower, with an alien saying "Why build a pyramid when you can sharpen a razor blade in five minutes on a wet rock?"
%%* In the Mexican series ComicBook/{{Chanoc}} a story featured the concept of Pyramid Powers (in a satirical way.)
* Subverted in Creator/AlanMoore 's ''[[ComicBook/DRAndQuinch D.R. & Quinch]]'': Two alien {{time|Travel}}-travellers indeed visited AncientEgypt, but they still cannot understand why the locals believed that the aliens wanted them to build pointy buildings.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* "Pharaoh Andrew", an episode of ScriptFic ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'', has the gang going to the Pyramids of Giza for Calvin's school report. They end up having to fight off some {{mumm|y}}ies.
* In the ''Literature/{{Good Omens}}'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5304252/6/I-shall-endure-to-the-end I shall endure...]]'' Azirapahile and Crowley deconstruct the concept of pyramids whilst providing additional background detail to several Bible stories, with a courtesy dash of Erich von Daniken thrown in for free.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
%%* ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'' also mentions pyramids in Cambodia.
* Played with in ''Film/NationalTreasure''. Upon finding a complicated, ancient structure under a city, one character wonders how it was built. The protagonist replies that it was built the same way the pyramids were, and his friend confuses his intention, and assumes that he means that the aliens built them.
* Sports film ''Film/SemiTough'' has people using all kinds of fad religious getishes to win at the game. One team actually does use "PyramidPower".
* Pyramids are {{Forgotten Superweapon}}s in ''Film/StonehengeApocalypse'', which is some kind of alien device that is a countdown till TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. ... for some reason.
* Because giant alien death robots who turn into cars wasn't enough, ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' had them building and destroying the pyramid at Giza, which houses a solar power collector.

* In Mary Gentle's masterwork ''Literature/{{Ash}}'', the pyramids are revealed to be sentient static golems who are manipulating the planet's timeline so as to take over Earth for their own ends. The sheer amount of energy needed to do this explains why Europe has fallen into a state of perpetual night wherever their armies have conquered.
* In ''[[Literature/TheCatWhoSeries The Cat Who Blew the Whistle]]'', there is a character named Elizabeth Hart who is big on the idea of pyramid power. Unannounced, she and her boyfriend pop over to the protagonist's (Qwilleran's) place and set up a makeshift portable pyramid. After they leave, Qwilleran's intelligent Siamese cat, Koko, makes his way to the very center of the pyramid and there is a blackout across the entire town that doesn't stop until he exits the pyramid.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', the pyramids act as "time dams", preserving the Old Kingdom unchanging for thousands of years. They don't sharpen razor blades, though ... they take them back in time to before they were blunt.
** Mentioned in ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'', the scholarly tome ''Iyt Gryet Teymple hyte Tsort, Y Hiystory Myistical'' describes the Great Pyramid of Tsort. A copy was located in the Unseen University Library.The book described the effort that went into building the Great Pyramid; it was comprised of 1,003,010 blocks of limestone, built over 60 years and cost the lives of thousands of slaves. It was apparently done as a way of sharpening razor blades (as opposed to burying Kings). People got very excited about the significant mathematical fact that its height plus its length divided by half its width almost precisely equalled 1.67563, or precisely 1,237.98712567 times the difference between the distance to the sun and the weight of a small orange. It was held that something like this could not ''possibly'' have come about by chance.
* In the ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''SLEEPY'' by Kate Orman, the planet Yemaya has pyramids that seem to focus psychic powers, with a ContinuityNod to the Osirians (the AncientAstronauts who influenced the Egyptians in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E3PyramidsOfMars "Pyramids of Mars"]]) and the Exxilons (Space {{Mayincatec}}s from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E3DeathToTheDaleks "Death to the Daleks"]]). This is partly because her previous two [=NAs=], which happened to be set in Mexico and Egypt respectively, had both had a pyramid on the cover and she wanted to maintain the theme. (Her fourth NA, ''Return of the Living Dad'', is largely set in a New Age bookshop/café called The Pyramid.)
* Pat Flanagan's 1973 book ''Pyramid Power''. It popularized the notion that the '''shape''' of a pyramid, in and of itself, has mystical properties -- from preserving food to sharpening razor blades.
* ''Literature/PyramidPower'' is a book by Creator/EricFlint, the second in a series. It involves a five sided alien pyramid landing in Chicago.
* The late bible scholar Zechariah Sitchin wrote in his book ''The Stairway To Heaven'' that the Giza pyramids were in fact constructed as Navigation facilities (like those used in airports[=/=]space centers), by AncientAstronauts no less.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' had the heroes find the lost planet of Kobol. The ancient pyramids on that planet looked ''suspiciously'' like the ones in the Giza Plateau. They contained a written account of the Lost 13th Tribe, and where they went. [[spoiler:So, of course, the writings had to be accidentally destroyed by a Cylon air raid before Adama could read them.]]
* ''Series/ChourikiSentaiOhranger'' had one of these from an ancient Pangean civilization as the source of the Ohrangers' power. King Ranger also has a pyramid HumongousMecha named King Pyramider. Its adaptation ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'' keeps the mecha pyramid, this time called Pyramidas. Also in both shows, the Blue Ranger's sphinx mecha can equip the Ohranger Robo/Zeo Megazord with a pyramid-like helmet.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E3PyramidsOfMars "Pyramids of Mars"]]: The point of the titular Martian pyramid is beaming some sort of forcefield energy at a pyramid in Egypt, thereby keeping a SealedEvilInACan sealed.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E7ThePyramidAtTheEndOfTheWorld "The Pyramid at the End of the World"]]: The antagonists, a group of mysterious {{reality warp|er}}ing aliens called the Monks, arrive on Earth in a 5,000-year-old pyramid that appears out of thin air in the middle of a disputed region in Central Asia.
* ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' did an episode exploring the notion that a pyramidal shape can preserve food and sharpen razor blades. In the end, no significant difference between items stored in a pyramid and items stored in some other shape could be detected, and Adam admonished his cohorts against testing "oogie-boogey myths" like this again.
* One of ''Series/TheSiflAndOllyShow'''s [[LittleKnownFacts fake "Rock Facts"]] claimed that the pyramids of Egypt were built by humans, but it was in anticipation of the prophecied arrival of... Music/DavidBowie.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'', apart from having the real pyramids in Egypt turn out to be ancient landing pads for Goa'uld spacecraft, also had Goa'uld-built pyramids appearing on alien planets as {{Supervillain Lair}}s and the like. The Goa'uld ''were'' [[AncientAstronauts the ancient Egyptian gods]], after all. Their {{Cool Starship}}s are also basically giant flying pyramids with extra high-tech superstructures added (which explains how they fit onto their "landing pads").
** The episode "Crystal Skull" featured a pyramid that was orders of magnitudes larger than any pyramid on Earth. It was not built by the Goa'uld, but by another alien race.
* Done in the Nineties revival of ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople''. The plot is that an immortal Egyptian pharoah is trying to recreate the circumstances required when the stars align to give him great power, which requires him to move a bunch of obelisks all over Europe (supposedly explaining why they were brought to London, Rome etc in the nineteenth century). The protagonists point out that this would mean he would have to have built a central focusing pyramid in the middle of them, in central London... they then look behind them and see the pyramidal top of the Canary Wharf Tower. Note this was years before it was used as the Torchwood Tower in ''Series/DoctorWho''.

* Music/TheAlanParsonsProject poke fun at the concept with 1978's "Pyramania", with the cover of its parent album, ''Pyramid'', showing a copy of the aforementioned book by Flanagan.
** Creator/{{Hipgnosis}}, who designed the cover of ''Pyramid'', also [[InvokedTrope invoked this trope]] with their famous cover for Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon''.
* Music/TheGratefulDead's performance at the Pyramids of Giza (also in 1978) was a byproduct of this trope, with a total lunar eclipse taking place at one point.

* A prominent feature of ''Pinball/TheTwilightZone'' pinball game is The Power, a one-eyed pyramid with a deep voice. It mocks you during the game, but defeating it yields a decent score bonus and a Door panel.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''Illuminati'' card games, the [[TheIlluminati Bavarian Illuminati's]] Eye-In-The-Pyramid logo is used as SigilSpam in all of the card illustrations. [[spoiler:If you can't see the pyramid in some of them, you're not Illuminated enough.]]
* The Arabian Nights expansion of the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' card game features Pyramids as an artifact in which mana can be channeled through to protect lands. The egyptian-inspired Amonkhet set naturally also has plenty of these, rather metallic-looking and often with floating components.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', PyramidPower is a major feature of the Atlantis sourcebook. They're like LeyLine dams, basically, and they were/are used both by the ancient Atlanteans and the [[EldritchAbomination Splugorth]] for things like dimensional travel.
* In ''TabletopGame/ThroughTheAges'', the Pyramids grant you one extra civil action per turn. Arbitrary, but probably no less arbitrary than the powers the ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' games gave them.
* The Tremere clan from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' is obsessed with this trope, incorporating pyramid symbiology into the design of their rigid organizational structure in hopes of attaining greater mystical power. [[BlackMagic It]] [[{{Dystopia}} doesn't]] [[WhoWantsToLiveforever work]] [[ProperlyParanoid out]] [[ManipulativeBastard very well]].
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': Though the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Tomb Kings]] InSpace aspect came about much later, Necron Monolith are massive, floating, truncated pyramids that spit death at the living and summon even more Necrons.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' series of games, the Pyramids are one of the World Wonders which you can build for a powerful effect on your civilization. In the first game they allowed a change to any government type in the game. This was very powerful, as you could change to the governments available late in the game in the very beginning and have a great advantage over the computer civilizations. This was changed in the second and third games so that Pyramids grant a free granary to every city (which may be a reference to the old belief that the pyramids were "Joseph's Granaries" from the Genesis story), letting your civilization grow more quickly. In Civ 4, they again unlocked advanced forms of government long before you could otherwise attain them. In Civ 5, they make your civilian units work harder.
* The Temple of the Ancients of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' did not produce or direct power, it ''was'' power -- being a giant maze which when solved would shrink into its smaller form, the [[ArtifactOfDoom Black Materia]] that would summon Meteor and bring about the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
* A few planets in ''VideoGame/{{Mass Effect|1}}'' have Prothean-built pyramids on them. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot No word on whether the pyramids on Earth have a similar story.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' allows the player to build a pyramid of power themselves by using resource expensive materials like blocks of iron, gold, diamond, or emerald. By building a pyramid out of those blocks and placing a beacon block on the top, the entire structure glow brightly and shoots out a beam of light to the sky. If the player places an iron bar, gold bar, emerald, or a diamond into the block, they can make the pyramid generate powers like increased speed or strength to anyone that stays in its radius.
* In ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', the "male" pyramid in the Egyptian-themed Temple of the Sun has a hidden link to the inverted "female" pyramid in the Temple of Moonlight. Using any weapon in the "female" pyramid is punished with a BoltOfDivineRetribution.
* ''VideoGame/SeriousSam'' has the ancient Egyptian civilization having taken their aesthetic from [[AncientAstronauts the Sirian race]], with the Great Pyramid serving as a communications device to summon a starship once the player takes the Sun Orb to it.
* Purple tetrahedral pyramids are a recurring design feature of [[BeePeople Kha'ak]] ships in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series. In fact with the fighters, the pyramid is the entire ship.
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, the shrines of Julianos, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Aedric Divine]] God of Wisdom and Logic, are in the shape of a pyramid. The symbol of Julianos is also a simple triangle.
* Naturally, the mission to Egypt in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' features the decidedly eldritch Black Pyramid of Akhenaten. Built to house the remains of the Black Pharaoh himself, the rules of physics behave very oddly inside the building, including [[BiggerOnTheInside rooms that shouldn't fit inside the structure]] and a literal bottomless pit; also, there's a massive ethereal manifestation of Aten himself hovering above the tip of the Pyramid... and Akhenaten might not be as deceased as he was in eons past.

* In ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'', Bernie Madoff is a supervillain with power over pyramids, a reference to how the real Madoff was infamous for [[{{Ponzi}} pyramid schemes]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/DangerMouse had to deal with "A Plague of Pyramids" (episode title). Baron Greenback scarfs up sand from the Sahara Desert and uses it to create pyramids throughout London thus causing it to sink below sea level from their collective weight.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Detentionaire}}'', there is a giant mysterious pyramid hidden underneath the school, guarded by Tazelwurms. It can only be opened [[spoiler:using [[CoolKey two special keys]] and [[TotalEclipseOfThePlot during the solar eclipse]], and the inside is inscribed with ancient runes that hold many secrets. The pyramid also houses a huge army of LizardFolk.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** One episode has an inversion. When the cast lands on an ancient Egypt themed planet, it's revealed that the Egyptians traveled to space and built pyramids on alien planets.
** "That Darn Katz!" plays it straight: it turns out that the pyramids were built as antennas to beam the Earth's rotational energy to the planet Thuban 9 (which is the original homeworld of cats).
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', after [[spoiler:Bill is out of the dream world and takes over the real world]], he creates a giant pyramid as a dominion [[spoiler:for him and his Henchmaniacs]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Doofenshmirtz thought that the pyramids of Egypt was built by aliens, when the Egyptians used music to command the aliens.
* In ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'', one of the [[PlotCoupon O-Parts]] and the Orb of Sigma were both hidden in different pyramids.
* In the fourth season of ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'', [[spoiler:Apocalypse attempted to use three pyramids located in Egypt, China and Central America to change every human on Earth into a mutant (not unlike Magneto's plot with the diplomats in the first X-Men film) by launching lots of smaller pyramids into the outer atmosphere and surrounding the planet with an energy field]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* '''Pyramidiology'''
** Pyramidiology, for the uninitiated, loosely covers all those, er, ''cultural misperceptions'', that have crept in over the years concerning the purpose and role of the Pyramids in Ancient Egyptian society. The sort that have professional Egyptologists grinding their teeth in fury. (An alternative theory suggests the idea was circulated by the in-house dentistry departments serving universities with Egyptology schools). Strictly speaking, it covers the idea that the measurements and dimensions of the Great Pyramid were done with such fiendish exactitude that it is absolutely self-evident the builders were programming in arcane occult knowledge, only to be decoded by those with they eyes to see and the insight to realise. In this world view, the whole future timetable for the world was laid out in stone by God (naturally: Moses and the Hebrews coded it in when slaves of the Pharaoh - they of course built it). Therefore the internal and external dimensions, when decoded, predict *everything*.
** This caused alarm when Victorian "scholars", guided by a tape measure and a selective reading of the Bible, divined the world was going to end in 1914. This became the USP of a then obscure Christian sect called the Jehovah's Witnesses, who worked it into their theology... they've back-tracked a little on this since, though. They don't wish to be reminded what else, apart from the Bible, they used to create God's ineffable timeline...
** This does not appear to be solely a Watchtower Society abberation. Quite a few streams of thought in Christianity bought into pyramidiology, and the eschatological logic for the end of the world used by many millenial denominations appears to be an unholy mix of pyramidiology and a cobbled-together set of oddly-interpreted justifications drawn from prophetic books of TheBible such as ''Daniel'', ''Ezekiel'' and ''Revelation''.
** Pyramidiology also covers things like:
*** Placing your razor blade inside an accurately scaled model of the Great Pyramid of Cheops keeps it sharp;
*** The notion that human beings couldn't possibly have built them unaided and [[AncientAstronauts needed to call on extraterrestrial assistance]]. (Good old ErichVonDaniken here).
** Egyptian pyramids were essentially designed to look like sunlight (imagine the top as the sun, and go down from there), and originally had incredibly bright, reflective surfaces. They are rather poetically described as "resurrection machines" in Wiki/TheOtherWiki.
* A well-known Japanese manga artist had one built as a study in his home in the hope of increasing his creativity, but admitted he spent most of the time under it drinking sake and looking at the stars.