"It is said to have emerged from an egg in a place where there was nothing, then shaped the world."
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.
Anime & 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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."
- Resurrected as an idea in modern science with the Big Bang: for the first few Planck Times the universe was a highly-compressed ball of proto-universal stuff. More often thought of as this within the big bang/big crunch model of an oscillating universe (now discredited by discovery of dark energy).
Religion and Mythology
- Homestuck: Skaia more or less fits this description.
- Older Than Dirt: The Rig Veda (and later, some Puranas) use this to describe the universe in its early stages in Hindu Mythology.
- The Orphic Egg of Pelasgian creation myth which predates Classical Mythology and even the Greek language.
- The Taoist idea of Pangu from Chinese Mythology is this trope.
- Mentioned in the Kalevala.
- Egyptian myth.
- And given that much of Judaism (and Christianity) developed because of contact with Egypt during its period of bondage, it's not surprising that the opening line "God created the heaven and the earth", the word "created" is supposedly similar to that for giving birth.
- In Hawaiian mythology, the fire-goddess Pele carries an egg from her original home in Tahiti to the Hawaiian archipelago. The egg hatches out her fully-formed sister Hi'iaka, the goddess of dance. (In fact, Hi'iaka's much longer full name translates (very) roughly as "carried in the arms of Pele").