Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: Giant elephant bird egg

Whoever finds the giant fossilized elephant bird egg wins Easter.
Whoever finds the giant fossilized elephant bird egg wins Easter.
  • An elephant bird egg is to be auctioned in London at Christie's
  • The egg is expected to sell for more than $45,000
  • Bellini: "It's literally about the size of John Madden's head."
  • The enormous egg is perfectly fossilized and hundreds of years old

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- When people come to my house for the first time there exists only a handful of personal items worth showing off as part of the tour.

Mind you, it's a rather short and uninspiring tour. The gift shop basically consists of pudding. And I'm usually not wearing pants.

Nevertheless, if one does take a quick walk-about of the Bellini manor, the first thing I'll show them is a framed original Rolling Stone from 1972 with Jerry Garcia on the cover. It's pretty much the only thing I own of any interest. Beyond that, I'm left to intrigue visitors with a bunch of large sticks I tossed in a vase.

Also, in the kitchen, I have a collection of condiments. None of which ever seem to impress.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"Sir, I appreciate that you have two different flavors of Cholula, but I really just need you to sign for this package."

"Please. Don't go. I'm so alone."

Fortunately, I finally found the perfect decorative conversation starter to proudly display somewhere within the six cubic feet of space not being lorded over by my dog.

And what is this amazing piece of art?

Well, much in the Easter spirit, It's a giant friggin' egg!

You'd have to hide it behind a Honda Civic. And if your kid can't find it, you failed as a parent.

At a foot high and eight inches wide, it's essentially the same size as John Madden's head. (But covered with far fewer leftover, greasy chunks of turducken.) And it would look great in my living room next to the sticks.

The only problem is that when it goes up for auction at Christie's in London during a travel and science sale at the end of April, it'll likely gavel for more than $45,000.

The elephant bird egg is over 100 times larger than a normal chicken egg. Stupid chickens.
The elephant bird egg is over 100 times larger than a normal chicken egg. Stupid chickens.

You see, the reason this particular egg is worth so much money -- and the reason so many people started talking about it online after Christie's put it up for display -- is that it's a fully intact, fossilized ovum of the long-extinct elephant bird.

Other artifacts like this have been pieced together from shell fragments. But this one is in mint condition.

And if you have the money, what a great way to honor the elephant bird!

Up until about the 17th century, the oxymoronically named animal lived happily on the island nation of Madagascar. And at about 10 feet tall, it was once the largest winged creature to walk the planet. But it didn't fly, for that would be asking a lot.

"Fly, stupid bird!"

"Dude, have you seen me?"

The thing was absolutely enormous -- much bigger than an ostrich. And, apparently, it squeezed out these huge eggs that could feed a small army for a month. Or, I suppose, the entire Kansas City Chiefs offensive line for about ... six minutes.

"Easy there, Geoff. Breathe between bites."

Unconfirmed: The elephant bird egg is about the same size as John Madden\'s head.
Unconfirmed: The elephant bird egg is about the same size as John Madden's head.

But seriously. They're big. In fact, a single elephant bird egg is about the equivalent of 120 normal chicken eggs. And scientists say the elephant birds' lays (is that the right word?) were even bigger than those of the dinosaurs. Which would have been especially disconcerting to Envyosaurus.

Of course, personally speaking as a mammal -- specifically a male mammal -- it's difficult to even imagine what birthing a big, round, shelled oval must have felt like. Which is fine because, really, such considerations don't politely lend themselves to normal conversation.

Unless, perhaps, you birthed the spirit of friendship. But even then, it's of questionable taste.

"Ouch, Dave. And then what happened?"

"I literally exploded with kindness. It was horrible."

There's no saying who might ultimately bid on this elephant bird egg, but, clearly, it takes an eccentric -- someone prone to spending money on things that don't serve a greater purpose beyond just being weird for the sake of weird.

"Jim, what the hell did you just buy?"

"It's a used toothpick from Shaquille O'Neal. You know, for my collection."

Though, when you think about, that might also be worth having.

It would look nice in my vase of sticks.

Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 2214 GMT (0614 HKT)
I vaguely recall Pizza Hut's Book It elementary school reading incentive program. Though, to be fair, I vaguely remember what I had for breakfast.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 2337 GMT (0737 HKT)
It took a lot of effort for Leo Bonten to turn his amputated leg into a fully functional lamp. For starters, he had to break the damn thing in a freak kiddie pool accident.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 0022 GMT (0822 HKT)
If you asked me -- and God knows nobody has -- I would have to guess that never in the history of humankind has anyone ever actually slipped on a banana peel.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 2223 GMT (0623 HKT)
I'm a napper.
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Since the beginning of time, man has looked up into the cosmos at those shiny, twinkling stars and thought, "I wonder if lizards would do each other up there?"
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
We all have weird, irrational concerns.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 0225 GMT (1025 HKT)
"What does this thing do?"
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Despite all the political tension in Crimea, it's nice to know things are still safe enough at the zoo for a zebra to get it on with a donkey.
August 2, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Justin Sylvester's wife is pregnant. With a baby.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
There's a famous scene in the movie "Titanic" where Rose turns to Jack and says, "I want you to draw me like one of your French girls."
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
I would love to say my dog is intellectually qualified to be a service animal. But he's not. There's barely enough brainpower there to be a lamp.
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
I've never really needed an extra ear.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 2032 GMT (0432 HKT)
I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 1957 GMT (0357 HKT)
Have you ever seen a man running in a marathon, bleeding from his nipples?
May 16, 2014 -- Updated 1952 GMT (0352 HKT)
Brace yourselves, because this week's story is about sperm and poop.