This ancient country is amazing! Learn all about this cradle of civilization with these fun facts about Egypt.
Basic Facts About Egypt
The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in northeast Africa. It borders the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Red Sea.
With around 386,000 square miles, Egypt is over 4 times the size of the United Kingdom.
The country has more than 104 million residents, and 21 million of them live in the capital city of Cairo.
Egypt is a presidential republic. Its national language is Arabic.
The Egyptian flag has three horizontal bars of color. From top to bottom, they are red, white, and black.
In the center of the flag, you’ll find a golden eagle with a shield over its chest. It grasps a scroll with the word “Egypt” written in Arabic.
It’s time to delve into some fun facts about Egypt!
1. Egypt Is in Two Continents at Once
Egypt has the unique status of being both a part of Africa and southeast Asia. The Sinai peninsula, for which Egypt claims a part, forms the land bridge between Africa and the Middle East.
2. The Longest River in the World Runs Through Egypt
The Nile River, the longest river in the world, cuts straight through Egypt and is the sustaining force of Egypt’s agriculture.
The Nile is over 4,000 miles long!
Every year it overflows its banks, depositing rich soil on the land near its mouth (the Nile River Delta). Nile mud is completely black.
3. A Pharaoh Dug Out the Buried Sphinx
The Sphinx is the oldest monument sculpture still standing. Some estimate it was constructed as early as 7000 BC/BCE.
The sphinx has the head of a man (likely Pharaoh Khafra) and the body of a lion. It even has a tail.
The Sphinx is missing a nose (and possibly a beard). While some believe the nose fell off due to erosion, there is some evidence that in the 15th century, a Muslim leader destroyed the nose when he saw people worshipping the statue.
Because the desert sands are always moving, the sphinx has been covered with sand several times.
Around 1400 BC/BCE, prince Thutmose fell asleep under the head of the Sphinx. At that time, the sphinx was buried up to the neck.
Thutmose had a dream in which the sphinx spoke to him and told him that if he cleared the sand away from the sphinx’s body, Thumose would be king of all Egypt. It happened! Thutmose became Pharaoh Thutmose IV. (And the sphinx was free of sand.)
4. Egyptian Food Is Heavenly for Vegetarians
Egyptians love their fruits and vegetables and eat a largely vegetarian diet. The country grows zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, rice, beans, dates, figs, and grapes.
Pita bread is served with every meal.
The national dish of Egypt is kushari. It has rice, lentils, and fried onions with a side of spicy tomato sauce.
5. The Aardwolf Isn’t Hunting You – It’s Hunting Bugs
The smallest member of the hyena family, the aardwolf is an Egyptian mammal that weighs between 15 and 30 lbs.
It is yellowish orange with black stripes. The aardwolf has long ears that stand up tall.
It is a nocturnal animal. What does it hunt? Termites! A single aardwolf can eat up to 250,000 termites in one night. It uses its sticky tongue to lick them off the ground.
It doesn’t need to drink much water because it gets most of its liquid needs from the juicy termites. The aardwolf is immune to the toxins produced by soldier termites.
6. Egyptians Invented the First Prosthetic Limb
When was the invention of the first artificial limb?
Startlingly, it was made somewhere between 900 and 700 BC/BCE.
This ancient limb was not made of plastic. It was a toe made of leather and wood.
Archaeologists found the toe on the mummy of a girl who was the daughter of a wealthy priest. People have nicknamed it “The Cairo Toe.”
7. The Cinema of Egypt Is Big Business
Egypt is the only Arab country with its own film industry. The Cinema of Egypt, often called the Hollywood of the Nile, has its roots all the way back to silent films.
8. You Had Better Drink Your Juice in Egypt
When you go to Egypt, you should always finish your glass of juice.
Tradition holds that if you are invited into a family’s home, and they serve you juice, you must drink the juice all the way to the bottom.
Otherwise, the daughters in the family are destined to not marry.
However, if you spill your coffee, it is considered an omen of good luck!
9. The Aswan High Dam Is the Tallest Embankment Dam in the World
The Aswan High Dam is extremely high! It stands 12,570 feet tall.
It is a major source of hydroelectric power for the country and blocks the waters of the Nile. The reflowing of the water created Lake Nasser.
The construction of the dam threatened 22 historic monuments. Because of that, all the monuments were moved–even the enormous temples at Abu Simbel! They now sit on the edge of the lake.
10. Dungeons and Dragons Players Aren’t the Only Ones Using D20 Dice
The oldest known D20 die (a die with 20 faces) was found in Egypt. Arachaeologists date it to 30 BC/BCE.
The die is from the Greek occupation of Egypt, and each of the faces is inscribed with a different Greek letter.
Historians speculate the D20 die was not used for game play but rather to predict whether a god would grant a petitioner’s request.
Read More About Egypt
Are you fascinated by these fun facts about Egypt? They are just the tip of the pyramid! Learn even more about Egypt with these resources.
Lapbooks are wonderful ways to make learning a hands-on activity. Check out this lapbook with fun and interesting facts and activities for Egypt.
If 10 fun facts about Egypt were just too few, check out this colorful reference book.
This National Geographic book for kids has lush photos and fun facts.
This book for high school students and adults tells the history of Egypt through art and photographs.