“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids in order to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big—when you stop and think about it, and I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time—to store that much grain.”–Ben Carson
On Stonehenge: “I’ve long been fascinated by the mystery of Great Britain’s Stonehenge. It’s been there since the year 4000 B.C., and no one knows exactly why. My own personal theory is that it served as a prehistoric skate park. When you look at the placement of the rocks and imagine how they were shaped before the forces of weather and time altered them, you can see how it’d be a pretty rad place for skateboarding or rollerblading.”
On Angkor Wat: “When my wife and I were young, we took a trip to Cambodia—it was a very dangerous country at the time, but we took the risk because we badly wanted to see Angkor Wat in person. It’s a very mysterious and beautiful place; no one knows exactly how it was built or why. But my own personal theory is that Angkor Wat is, essentially, the remains of a very large beehive, constructed by Cambodian bees sometime in the 9th century. The ancient Cambodians were very fond of honey—this is something the historians don’t like to talk about, but it must be true, because honey is delicious—and when you stop and think about it, they would have needed a pretty big beehive to make all that honey, and I don’t think it would just disappear over the course of time.”
On the Parthenon: “We can learn so much about democracy by studying the civilization of Ancient Greece, and the Parthenon is one of its crown jewels. My own personal theory is that it served as a jail cell for some kind of malevolent primordial giant, like the Cyclops encountered by Odysseus on his famous journey from Troy to Ithaca. When you really stop and look at the building, you can see that the bars are too far apart to confine a normal-sized man—he could easily slip between them.”
On Mount Rushmore: “It’s well-known that Mount Rushmore, as we know it today, has been around since the early Middle Ages, when a divinely placed bolt of lightning struck the rock surface, which crumbled to spontaneously reveal the faces of four men. But who are these men? No one knows for sure, but my own theory is that they represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation—the forces of Conquest, Famine, War, and Death, heralding the Last Judgment. I view it as a warning from above—a warning about Obamacare, most likely.”
On the Statue of Liberty: “The Statue of Liberty is one of the most beloved artistic symbols of our nation, yet we can only speculate on the artistic intent of its sculptor, the great Michelangelo. In her left hand, we can see that she’s holding a tablet bearing the date July 4, 1776—the significance of this date may forever remain a mystery. But in her right hand, we can see that she’s holding some kind of primitive flamethrower—likely as a warning to immigrants to stay away or else experience her wrath.”
On the Grand Canyon: “The Grand Canyon is over 20 miles wide and 6,000 feet deep—now, most geologists contend that it was carved by the Colorado River, but the Colorado River is, at most, I’d say, about a hundred yards across and probably a few feet in depth. My own theory is that the Grand Canyon was a very large pit dug by the Native Americans in order to store maize. Arguably they got a little carried away, but that just speaks to the work ethic people had in those days. We could use more of that today.”
Editor’s note: Yates (obviously?) takes creative license imagining Carson’s explanations of other historical monuments and landmarks. Satire at its best.