Huge Egg Sells For $101,813 At London Auction

Dan Evon

A huge elephant bird egg sold for $101,813 this week at a Christie's Auction in London.

Yes, there is such thing as an elephant bird. And yes, one of its huge fossilized eggs is worth $101,813.

James Hyslop from Christie's Auction House said that the now-extinct elephant bird stood more than 11 feet tall and was the largest bird to ever walk the face of the earth.

Hyslop said: "The elephant bird. It's easiest to think of it as an overgrown ostrich. It's the largest bird to walk the earth."

Christie's writes that the flightless elephant bird ate fruit but it was also rumored (incorrectly) to eat baby elephants.

Christie's writes: "The Elephant Bird was thought to be the giant flying beast known as the Roc (or Ruhk) in the tales of Sinbad and accounts of Marco Polo's voyages. The bird grew to around 10 or 11 feet in height and whilst probably unable to devour an elephant, as the Roc was reputed to do, it certainly was the largest bird ever to have lived. It was estimated to weigh up to 1100lbs ... The birds are thought to have gone extinct between the 14th and 17th centuries."

The partially fossilized egg, which is more than a foot long and nine inches in diameter, came from Madagascar and is believed to be from before the 17th century.

The egg had an estimated value of about 20,000 to 30,000 pounds ($30,000 to $45,000) but an intense 10 minute period of competitive bidding caused the price of the huge egg to skyrocket to more than $100,000. The winning bidder chose to remain anonymous.

Hyslop said that the large price tag also came from the fact that this is one of the only complete elephant bird eggs to exist.

Hyslop said: "It's the first one that I've handled that is absolutely complete. The only other examples I've seen were patched together from various pieces."

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