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 bullshit. 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...
Note: We don't want to be cruel, but your life is pretty much the most boring life that could possibly exist. First off, you probably won't ever see the apocalypse, and if you do, it won't be anything like the movies have taught you. Second, there are millions of awesome horror movies happening all around you, all the time, but your eyes literally can't even perceive them. Third, and perhaps worst of all, Adam Sandler movies have gotten really bad.
No, if you want adventure, the only reliable place to look for it is in the past -- only you've got all that shit wrong, too! As this Cracked Classic shows, the past was way more awesome than movies like Stargate, Jurassic Park and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure would have ever dared to show us.
6The 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 structural 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.
Pharaohs liked tacky shit? We would have never guessed.
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:
That outer 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 it Wrong:
What we're looking at today are the equivalent of sports cars that have been long forgotten in some junkyard.
Weather and 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.
5Velociraptors Had Feathers
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 sport.
"We'll give you a two minute head start."
These deadly 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.
"We hope it's not something that makes us look totally lame!"
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.
Velociraptors: Preening douchebags of the thunder lizard kingdom.
Why We Picture it Wrong:
We actually didn't know about this until 1998, when a bone proving the extent of quill knobs on Velociraptors was discovered, and many a childhood ruined.
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.