Facts about the Sphinx: Guardian of the Pyramids

Facts About The Sphinx Guardian Of The Pyramids

The Sphinx is one of the most iconic and enigmatic mythological creatures in history. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the Sphinx is an ancient symbol of power, mystery, and wisdom. In this article, we will explore the different aspects and facts about the Sphinx, including its historical origins, its role in Egyptian mythology, and its significance in popular culture.

Historical Origins

The origins of the Sphinx can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was built as a guardian for the pyramids. The Great Sphinx of Giza, which is the most famous of all Sphinxes, was built during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre in the 26th century BC. The Egyptian Sphinx was carved out of limestone and measures 73 meters long and 20 meters tall. It was believed to be a protector of the pharaohs and was built as a symbol of their power and authority.

Role in Egyptian Mythology

In Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx is often associated with the sun god Ra. It is believed to represent the cycle of life and death, with the Sphinx guarding the tombs of the pharaohs and protecting them from evil spirits. The Sphinx was also thought to have magical powers, capable of granting wishes to those who were pure of heart.

In some legends, the Sphinx is seen as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. The Sphinx was known to ask riddles of those who approached it, with those who failed to answer correctly being killed or devoured. The most famous riddle associated with the Sphinx is, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” The answer is a human, who crawls on all fours as a baby, walks upright in adulthood, and uses a cane in old age.

Significance in Popular Culture

The Sphinx, with its enigmatic expression and imposing presence, has long captured the human imagination. From ancient Egypt to modern-day popular culture, the Sphinx has played a significant role in various forms of art, literature, and entertainment.

In popular culture, the Sphinx is often portrayed as a mysterious and powerful creature with a human head and a lion’s body. It is often associated with the idea of riddles and puzzles, as seen in the famous Greek myth of Oedipus and the Sphinx, where Oedipus had to answer a riddle to avoid being killed by the creature.

The Sphinx has also appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and video games, where it is often depicted as a guardian or protector of ancient treasures and artifacts. In the movie “The Mummy Returns,” for example, the Sphinx is shown as a mystical guardian of the lost city of Hamunaptra.

In literature, the Sphinx has been featured in numerous works of fiction, including the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series, where the Sphinx is portrayed as a dangerous and cunning creature that must be defeated by the young demigod Percy Jackson.

The Sphinx has also been a popular subject in art, appearing in various paintings, sculptures, and other forms of artistic expression. One of the most famous depictions of the Sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, a massive statue in Egypt that dates back to ancient times.


In Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx was known as the “Great Sphinx of Giza,” and it was believed to be a guardian of the pyramids. It was associated with the god Horus, who was often depicted with the head of a falcon, and was seen as a symbol of protection and power.

In Greek mythology, the Sphinx was a female monster with the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the wings of a bird. She was said to have the power of prophecy and would ask riddles to those who passed by her. If they were unable to answer, she would kill them. The most famous story involving the Sphinx is the tale of Oedipus, who was able to solve her riddle and defeat her.

In popular culture, the Sphinx has continued to be a powerful symbol. It has been featured in literature, film, and art, often representing mystery, power, and knowledge. For example, in the Harry Potter series, the Sphinx is depicted as a powerful creature guarding the maze during the Triwizard Tournament. In the popular video game series Assassin’s Creed, the Sphinx is featured as a mythical creature that can be battled by the player.

The Sphinx’s symbolism has also been interpreted in different ways throughout history. Some see it as a representation of the balance between human intellect and animal instinct, while others see it as a symbol of the unknown and the mysterious. Still, others see it as a reminder of the importance of knowledge and wisdom, as it is said that the Sphinx would only allow those who had the knowledge to answer her riddles to pass by unharmed.


The Sphinx is a fascinating and enigmatic creature that has captured the imaginations of people for thousands of years. Its historical origins, role in Egyptian mythology, and significance in popular culture make it one of the most enduring symbols of power and mystery in human history. Whether seen as a protector, a riddler, or a guardian, the Sphinx remains an iconic and enduring symbol of the ancient world.