A Dozen Fun Facts About Eggs

A Dozen Fun Facts About Eggs

Welcome to the wonderful world of eggs! (cue nostalgic memory of the incredible edible egg commercial). These delightful orbs are indeed incredible, but they are more than just a breakfast favorite. From the protein-packed punch of a single egg to the astonishing reproductive habits of the animal kingdom, eggs are a marvel of nature. In this article, we're cracking open some of the most fascinating, quirky, and downright surprising facts about eggs. If you are at all curious about these oval wonders, prepare to be amazed by the egg-citing world that awaits. Yes, there will be more egg puns. Let’s go!

1. One egg has an average of 6g of protein. 

For someone following a 2,000 calorie diet, the recommended amount of daily protein is 50-175 grams. That’s 8 to 29 eggs a day if you’re trying to max out on egg protein. 

2. The Haugh unit is a measure of egg protein quality based on the height of its egg white. 

An egg is weighed, then broken onto a flat surface, a micrometer is then used to determine the height of the egg white that immediately surrounds the yolk. The height, correlated with the weight, determines the Haugh unit, or HU, rating. The higher the number, the better the quality of the egg (fresher, higher quality eggs have thicker whites).

3. Madonna (the pop star) was once in a film titled “The Egg”.

In 1974 student Wyn Cooper made a film for class simply titled The Egg which featured classmate Madonna eating a raw egg on Super 8 film. It was very artsy. We don’t know the grade the Wyn received, but we can assume it was egg-ceptional.

4. You can pickle that. Pickled eggs have been a staple for Germans as far back as the 1700’s. 

The tradition moved to America and has been preserved (ba-dum cha) by Germanic immigrants in the Pennsylvania-Dutch region. You can find these delicious orbs in many bars as far east as the Delaware River and one place in Northern California. 

5. More than 99% of animals, discovered and unknown, lay eggs!

There are even egg laying mammals, although not many. There are only five living monotreme (mammals who lay eggs) species: the duck-billed platypus and four species of echidna (aka spiny anteaters). All of these species are exclusively found in Australia and New Guinea.

6. Who lays the biggest eggs? Although you might think ostriches have this distinct title, it’s only on land! Whale sharks are the planet's largest egg laying animals.

One egg recovered from a whale shark measured an astonishing 30 cm (12 in.) long, 14 cm (5.5 in.) wide, and 9 cm (3.5 in.) thick - making it the biggest egg of any animal ever recorded.

7. Although whale sharks seem to be viviparous (meaning they have live births) whale sharks are in fact ovoviviparous ("egg live birth"). 

In this form of reproduction, the internally fertilized eggs are retained inside the female's body. The embryos develop in membranous "shells." They shed their membranes inside the female, who then gives birth to live offspring.

8. The smallest egg laid by any bird belongs to the bee hummingbird. 

Usually, the bee hummingbird lays eggs that weigh only 0.0009 ounces and measure 0.275 inches long (6.985mm). That’s about as heavy as a single grain of rice!

9. Eggs are mostly a function of reproduction, but that’s not always the case! Trophic eggs are classified as unfertilized eggs that are meant to be eaten by offspring.

Some worker bees for example have ovarian development and can lay trophic eggs within the brood combs that are later eaten by the queen bee and her progeny, including workers and future queen larvae.

10. Poison Dart frogs are another species that lay trophic eggs for their young.

They are unique in the frog kingdom for being the only type of frog in which the males and females care for their tadpoles until they reach the froglet stage. Males “water” the tadpole nursery, usually a bromeliad flower, by depositing water (or other frog fluids) to ensure the young have enough water to swim around. Females lay trophic eggs for their young each day to ensure they are well fed until they can catch their own flies and springtails. 

11. Let’s get specific. There are several different types of classification for eggs based on their size.

Simple eggs with little yolk are called microlecithal, medium-sized eggs with some yolk are called mesolecithal, and large eggs with a large concentrated yolk are called macrolecithal. That’s a mouthful.

12. There are seven types of eggs that are classified between species. 

Jawless fish have Mesolecithal eggs, Cartilaginous fish, bony fish and amphibians have macrolecithal eggs, reptiles have large macrolecithal eggs which develop independent of water, birds in the grand scheme of things have large to very large macrolecithal eggs and mammals  have macrolecithal eggs in monotremes and marsupials, and extreme microlecithal eggs in placental mammals. 

There’s more than a dozen fascinating tidbits about eggs, but we thought we’d keep it neat. From the tiny marvels laid by bee hummingbirds, and the unique reproductive strategies of whale sharks and Poison Dart frogs, eggs are a testament to nature's ingenuity and diversity. Next time you crack open an egg, remember there's a whole world of wonder encapsulated in that fragile shell. If you liked these facts, check out our Fun Facts About Eggs print, or read our other food-related fun fact articles.

About the author(s):

Christman & Raelina

Christman and Raelina are both professional designers, writers and have been working with educational content for nigh on 30 years (between the two).

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