A pyramid is a three-dimensional geometric shape that consists of four vertices, a triangular or rectangular base, and multiple triangle-shaped faces that converge towards a single point located on the top known as an apex. In a nutshell, a three-dimensional geometric figure that consists of a flat base, and whose rest all faces are triangular in shape, is known as a pyramid. The surface area of a triangular pyramid is given as Base area + ½ × Perimeter × Slant length and the volume is calculated as ⅓ × Base Area × Height.
Types of Pyramids
On the basis of the shape of the base of a pyramid, it can be classified into two broad categories:
1. Triangular Pyramid
A pyramid that consists of a triangular base and three congruent triangular faces is known as the triangular pyramid. A triangular pyramid is also a tetrahedron that consists of four triangular faces. A triangular pyramid can be further classified into four categories:
1. Regular Triangular Pyramid
A triangular pyramid having a base with all its sides equal in length is known as a regular triangular pyramid. In a nutshell, if the base of a triangular pyramid is an equilateral triangle, then such a triangle is known as a regular triangular pyramid.
2. Non-Regular Triangular Pyramid
If the base of the triangular pyramid has unequal sides, then such a pyramid is known as a non-regular triangular pyramid. In short, the base of a non-regular triangular pyramid is a scalene triangle or an isosceles triangle.
3. Right Triangular Pyramid
The base of a right triangular pyramid is a right-angled triangle.
2. Square Pyramid
A square pyramid is one that consists of a square-shaped base and four equal triangular faces.
Examples of Pyramid
1. Pyramids of Egypt
The pyramids of Giza, Egypt form the most common example of the three-dimensional pyramid geometric shape in real life. The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest and largest pyramids present in the world. It is also the oldest of the seven wonders of the world. The shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza closely resembles the structure of a square pyramid.
2. Pyramid Pastry
As the name itself suggests, the shape of a pyramid pastry is quite similar to that of a three-dimensional pyramid geometric figure.
The toy manufacturing companies also make use of the pyramid geometric shape to produce different types of toys. For instance, some of the Rubik cubes are pyramid-shaped, rock-a-stack toys also resemble the pyramid shape, etc.
Most of the tents are formed by joining four wooden logs together by tying them with the help of a rope at one end. The other ends of the log are fixed on the ground in such a way that a square shape gets formed between them. A nylon or polyester sheet is then used to cover the wooden frame. The resultant structure resembles the shape of a pyramid. Hence, tents used for camping are a prominent example of a pyramid three-dimensional geometric shape.
Telephone towers installed along the roadside are yet another example of pyramid-shaped structures present around us. This is because the metallic bars that form the outer boundary of such towers converge to a single point on the top. The signals get radiated from this particular point. The faces of a tower are triangular in shape, and the base of the tower resemble the square geometric figure.
The top of a temple known as the shikhara or shikhar is mostly pointed. The faces of the temple building are triangular in shape and the base of the temple is square-shaped. Hence, the structure of temples, churches, and other buildings is a clear example of pyramid-shaped objects used in everyday life.
7. Water Melon
Watermelons are spherical or elliptical in shape; however, the shape opted to cut out a watermelon into pieces is mostly pyramid in nature.
8. Wet Floor Sign
The shape of most of the wet floor indicator signs closely resembles the shape of a three-dimensional pyramid geometric figure. Similarly, the shape of a flap-type wet floor sign is analogous to that of a pyramid structure.
Some of the chocolates manufactured by the food industries are shaped like a pyramid. For instance, the Toblerone, a swiss chocolate bar consists of a number of pyramid-shaped chocolate blocks attached to one another.