by Matthew Cobb
A couple of weeks back, a chicken in Bijie, a small village in southwest China, laid a massive double-yolk egg which contained ANOTHER EGG. In fact, the chicken (name unknown, owner 87 year-old Granny Yang) has laid a few of these monsters. EGGstraordinary Don’t believe me? Here’s THE PROOF:
And if that wasn’t enough EGGcitement for you, here’s a genuine photo taken on a field course I ran in the foothills of the French Alps.
My colleague Henry McGhie and I published this in New Scientist in 2006, with this question:
Some of our students noticed a seemingly intact duck egg found in a small pond contained something moving; when we broke the shell by poking it with a finger, we found three live minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus – see picture). As 21st century scientists rather than 17th century antiquarians, we think it is somewhat unlikely that this represents a hitherto unknown mode of fish reproduction.
I emphasise that this has not been photoshopped, it is not a fake. But what is the EGGSplanation?
The image subsequently went round the world, including to China, where we were featured in a children’s science magazine called Young Copernicus (the editor apologised to me as the circulation was ‘only’ 380,000…). I subsequently got a letter from a Chinese man saying he had seen one of these eggs 50 years ago…