The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. It has made appearances in various Disney media as both a monument and a living creature from mythology.
In Egypt, Sphinxes are usually depicted as having a lion's body and the head of a human. Their face is usually male, but representations of female figures have also occurred. Sphinxes can also have the head of a ram. They were often considered benevolent and placed at the doors of temples.
In Greece, Sphinxes also have the body of a lion and a human's face. However, the head is exclusively female, in contrast to the Egyptian Sphinx. In most depictions, they also have a giant pair of wings. In ancient Greece, they were considered treacherous and merciless.
During the "A Whole New World" segment, Aladdin and Jasmine wave to an Egyptian sculptor hammering a nail on the Sphinx, while riding on the Magic Carpet. But the sculptor becomes distracted, so the nose falls off the Sphinx.
Sphinxes are mentioned as magical creatures issued from ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology. They are the source of a major weakness to Dragons. The reason for this is that a Sphinx' hair has a draining power that can absorb a Dragon's strength until it reaches a weakened and powerless state. Strands of Sphinx hair are often used to create Dragon slaying gear, mostly full-proof nets. Because they are only mentioned and never seen in the series, their true form currently remains unknown.
The Sphinx first appeared in The Legend of the Golden Pyramid. In the episode "The Puzzle of the Sphinx", the Sphinx shows off a snowflake puzzle to impress the team. But when the pieces bounce away, the team must retrieve the pieces before time runs out or the puzzle's magic won't work.
The largest and most famous sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated on the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River and facing east.
While the date of its construction is not known for certain, the general consensus among Egyptologists is that the head of the Great Sphinx bears the likeness of the pharaoh Khafra, dating it to between 2600 and 2500 BCE.
The word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ, apparently from the verb σφίγγω (sphíngō), meaning "to squeeze", "to tighten up". This name may be derived from the fact that, in a pride of lions, the hunters are the lionesses, and kill their prey by strangulation, biting the throat of prey and holding them down until they die.
However, the historian Susan Wise Bauer suggests that the word "sphinx" was instead a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name "shesepankh", which meant "living image", and referred rather to the statue of the sphinx, which was carved out of "living rock" (rock that was present at the construction site, not harvested and brought from another location), than to the beast itself.
The Cleopigtra poster at Muppet*Vision 3D features a faux studio logo with Gonzo as the Sphinx