It’s a foot long, nearly nine inches in diameter, and would once have made a really, really, big omelet.
A London auction house is hoping buyers will be scrambling to take a crack at this natural wonder, a massive fossilized egg laid long ago on the island of Madagascar by a now-extinct elephant bird. Its scientific name is (Aepyornis maximus).
Christie’s said Wednesday that the oversized ovum laid sometime before elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago is expected to sell for up to 30,000 pounds (roughly $45,000).
Flightless, fruitgobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high (3.4 meters). Christie’s says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken’s. The egg that is to be auctioned off measures 21 cm in diameter and 30 cm in height. It is being sold during a travel and science sale on April 24.
The extinct Elephant Bird, a native of Madagascar, was the largest bird ever to have lived. Resembling a heavily-built ostrich with long legs and talons, it is thought to have been hunted to extinction in Madagascar between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Fragments of eggs can be found in the Southern part of the island, but whole examples such as the present lot are extremely rare, the auction house said.AP, PTI