One morning in late November, Konrad Christian ’22 opened a carton of eggs and noticed something bizarre: One was perfectly round.
“I was fully about to use it to make scrambled eggs,” he recalled. However, Christian waited to show his housemates, Michael Morgan ’22, Zane Monaghan ’22 and Alexander Craner ’22, who were all living together in South Carolina while studying remotely.
Christian’s housemates were shocked by his peculiar find. “My first thought was, ‘Nobody touch it,’” Monaghan said. His reaction was justified, as poultry experts say that there is a one-in-a-billion chance of finding a spherical chicken egg.
“Winning the Powerball is one in 293 million, so one in a billion is such a low, low chance,” Craner said. Monaghan noted that, since there is a one in 500,000 chance of getting struck by lightning, it was 4,000 times less likely for them to find this egg.
“Putting that in those terms just blows my mind,” he said.
“We [also] found out that [a spherical egg] was sold for $700,” Craner said, referring to a British woman’s discovery of a similar egg laid by one of her own chickens in 2015, which was later offered up for auction. Later that year, a Florida resident found a spherical egg while preparing breakfast. These two stories, along with the 2010 find by a chef in England who was working the morning shift, are among the few circulating the Internet.
“[It was] the most valuable object in the house, for sure,” Craner said. The group kept the egg safe in the carton, and are currently using mineral oil to keep it fresh.
Since its discovery, the egg has garnered a robust social media following on TikTok under the handle @eggspherical, gaining more than 2,000 followers and 30,000 likes within the first week. The account’s first video, set to DJ DOC’s rendition of “Gangster’s Paradise,” reveals traditional eggs, each with drawn-on faces. As the music intensifies, the camera pans to the spherical egg.
The biggest challenge the four faced was representing the egg in a believable manner. While the majority of reactions have been positive — with TikTok users commenting “ALL HAIL SPHERICAL EGG” and “This is saving 2020” — the Kenyon juniors said they have also had to appease non-believers who insist that the egg is actually a ping pong ball or a sanded-down golf ball.
The four students have uploaded TikTok videos to prove their critics wrong. One video, which surpassed 60,000 views, shows the egg being placed into a container of water alongside several ping pong balls and sinking while its ping pong counterparts remain afloat.
“Seeing the internet’s reaction to it was pretty awesome,” Morgan said. “[People] either hated us, or would go to the ends of the Earth to fight for us.”
The group intends to continue expanding the egg’s internet presence. “We’re looking to build up some notoriety and fame with the egg,” Christian said. “After we have all that, we’re looking to sell it on eBay.”