Cosmic Egg

Now we know which came first. (But then, who laid it?)
Illustration by Carol Phillipson.

"It is said to have emerged from an egg in a place where there was nothing, then shaped the world."
Pokemon Platinum's PokÚdex description for Arceus

A common Creation Myth motif: the world, God, or some primordial entity comes into existence by hatching from an egg or similar structure.

This is generally used so that the universe's life-cycle mimics those of many of its creatures, giving the trope metaphorical significance as a symbol of life's beginning. As such, it is found in many religious stories and ancient mythologies, but it is also commonly found in many modern Mythopoeias as a way to begin the narrative.

See also Primordial Chaos, which may be where these are located, and World Tree, which has similar connotations.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • This is said to be the theory behind Reality Marbles in the Nasuverse — the Mental World of the magus is what's inside the Cosmic Egg, and the Reality Marble is the ability to switch the world outside the egg with the world inside. This "creation" is only temporary though; since the event is an unnatural occurrence, the larger world will attempt to revert the disturbance back to normal, which is why Reality Marbles require a large amount of prana to maintain even for a few minutes.

Comic Books
  • According to one story, this is how Galactus managed to survive the last big crunch.
  • This is how worlds are born in The Books of Magic. Tim restores the dying realm of Faerie by finding a world egg to hatch a new Faerie.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 shows the Seed of Wonder, which has the shape of a red egg about the size of a football. According to Spike, "The world came from the Seed."

Literature
  • This trope is played straight with the Cosmic Egg making an appearance in the third novel of the Astral Dawn series (Design of Destiny). Caspian has to find the Cosmic Egg and retrieve the Sword of Fracture from it.
  • In The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov, these are used as fuel.
  • One of the many origins of the Discworld universe given by the Great Spells in The Light Fantastic. Apparently, the Cosmic Egg was "distinctly rubbery."
    • And in the Discworld novel Eric, it turns out that life was created by Rincewind (who had gone back in time) tossing away the Egg-and-Cress sandwich given to him by The Creator.
    • An egg of stone (a geode) is also central to the dwarfs' origin myth which explains how the dwarfs, the humans, and the trolls were created.
  • Appears in Tau Zero at the end of the universe, during the Big Crunch.

Music
  • Provided the name and album cover for Wolfmother's second full album.
  • Bj÷rk's song "Cosmogony": "And they say back then our universe was a cold black egg/Until the god inside burst out and from its shattered shell/He made what became the world we know."

Religion and Mythology

Webcomics
  • Homestuck: Skaia more or less fits this description.

Web Original

Video Games


Alternative Title(s):

World Egg