The Largest Pyramid Ever?

A grand idea, considered improbable by most. Gaining publicity last month, was the proposed plan of German entrepreneurs to build the world’s largest structure – a pyramid shaped tomb to contain the remains of millions of people of all faiths from all over the world.

GreatPyramid The Friends of the Great Pyramid say:

The Great Pyramid can potentially be any human being’s grave or memorial site. As monumental as it is affordable, it serves those of all nationalities and religions. Individuals who are either unwilling or unable to have their ashes buried there can also opt to have a memorial stone placed instead. Stones can be custom designed with any number of colors, images, or relief decorations. The Great Pyramid will continue to grow with every stone placed, eventually forming the largest structure in the history of man.

And regarding it becoming the largest building in the world:

The Great Pyramid grows brick by brick; its structure of rock-solid concrete receptacles and memorial stones is set to outlast the coming millennia. Each tomb container will contain an urn with the ashes of a deceased, while memorial stones hold capsules containing other remembrances. size-eng-small-resize

All stones are identical in size and are positioned at random in the Great Pyramid. After only few thousand stones have been laid, the Great Pyramid will have reached massive proportions. Even if only a small percentage of all current and future living decide on a Great Pyramid stone, the monument will outsize the Giza Pyramids very soon. In only a few decades it will be the largest structure our civilization has ever built.

They have secured $122,600 (£60,000) in state funding, estimate it would take about 30 years to be completed, with each burial costing about $960 (€700). Pritzker-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is heading the jury for choosing a final design for the project. Not everyone is optimistic about the proposal though.

The Washington Times says:

The improbable plan is based on the idea that people will pay to have their ashes encased in the concrete blocks used to construct the monument. Millions of people would have to sign up to make it viable, though if the team behind it is successful, they will be rich beyond the wildest dreams of even the most ambitious pharaoh.

You can see the number of people who’ve signed up for this here. Also, as expected, local residents’ ire is reported by The Independent:

However, the pyramid idea has not been universally welcomed by residents in the next door village of Streetz. “We don’t want to live next to the world’s biggest graveyard,” one inhabitant was quoted as saying last week.

Gizmodo also contemplates that in 30 years, who would want to fly their remains to Germany when one could fly them in space?

I actually liked the idea in some ways, though it is true that it does seem improbable. If mankind were to extinguish itself by nuclear holocaust or climatic destruction, there would hardly be any signs left of its existence on planet earth. The larger the structures we build, the larger the probability that alien probes would sense man-made structures on earth after our demise. Ah! But that’s romanticizing, just like Friends of the Great Pyramid!

(Image Credits: Friends of the Great Pyramid)

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19 thoughts on “The Largest Pyramid Ever?

  1. Rather than making one huge pyramid, it would make sense to have many smaller ones, that way the probability of at least one of them outliving us increases. No?

  2. “The question is why I should choose to do that…”

    … when my family can take my ashes and have it compressed into a giant man-made sparkler? 🙂

  3. Rambodoc: I don’t know…ask the hundreds of people who’ve signed up! 🙂

    Dijo: I didn’t think so. The larger the structure, the greater the possibility of it surviving disasters…or that’s what I thought.

    Ankur: Yes, you’re right – that seems to be the motivating factor.

    Shefaly: That was outrageous! 🙂

  4. What makes humans want to be preserved after death? What makes them save money or invest just to get a good burial or secure their ashes?
    Is it apprehension or fear of the unknown.
    Or do we think that our lives can be compressed into a tiny containers just to remind the future generations of the inevitable end.

  5. Madhuri: Interesting questions, thanks!

    I don’t think there’s a generic answer. It differs from person to person. I don’t think it is a fear of the unknown.

    Many believe in ‘some sort’ of ‘existence after death’. Most think of it as a way for their relatives and descendants as a tangible physical thing with which to remember them. There are many reasons, I think.

  6. Mahendra:

    Why outrageous? I think it is a brilliant idea (pun unintended). Although a bit gross. 😎

    But think about it.

    I think I may be very popular if I declare that I wish my ashes to be made into a “diamond” and given to so-and-so! 😉

  7. Mahendra, suddenly you have started posting a lot!!
    This is an interesting piece of information. Can’t think of anything else to say!

  8. Shefaly: Now, I must say outrageously exotic! 🙂

    Nita: Thanks, but not really. Just spurts of inspiration.

    Why I liked this concept was because it is one idea in today’s world to bring people of different faiths, religions, and nationalities together, even if it is after they’re dead. I seem to harbor a naive imagination that such visions may make living human beings aware of the precariousness of their cooexistence, and learn to live in harmony. That’s why this post. Big words – I know, they’re naive…

  9. Mahendra:

    “Outrageously exotic” or a stealthy way to tap into quintessential human greed so that one can live eternal? After all, diamonds are forever! 🙂

  10. Only in the west is such an outrageous idea possible. We’ll do anything to prevent thinking about the fact that we are just material housing spirit and our material goes back into the cycle of material forming and reforming in the world. This preposterous project is sure to be a major moneymaker. My son is in the funeral industry in Canada, and it is that, an industry, no matter how we cloak it in terms of sentiment and remembrance. Where he works is a columbarium, niches with ashes in containers and objects precious to the deceased. Eternal remembrance, for at least a finite period of time, until those who remember us now also die. G

  11. “Eternal remembrance, for at least a finite period of time, until those who remember us now also die.”

    They can pass on the diamond! I do not care about how long they live, do I?

  12. I don’t know, bigger may be equal to stronger but if disaster strikes that one place then it will be gone. Nothing left, but if there are many of them at different places…

  13. The pyramids in Mexico were built over time in the same way: layers upon layers over the years.

    I like the idea because it’s a sort of community monument. Tourists could play a scavenger hunt game finding the bricks of famous people. (I’m only half kidding. I could see it becoming a Disney World of the Deceased.)

    It would be nice if this cemetery for the new millenium would fund a positive project, such as feeding the poor or educating children.

  14. Cristine: Thanks. I was not aware of the pyramids in Mexico…:-)

    I’m glad you liked the idea. I’ve stated why I liked it in response to Nita’s comment above. It does seem to be the only idea where people of different faiths are brought together in an act that is practised differently in different faiths.

    Just as places of worship are different in different faiths, graveyards are too. We have separate cemetaries for different faiths. This idea is unique to me from that angle.

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