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Cosmic Egg

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Now we know which came first. (But then, who laid it?)note 
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 Pokédex description for Arceus
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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. Sometimes the egg is laid by a goddess or creature that existed before the universe did, thus overlapping this trope with Whale Egg.

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


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Examples:

    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."
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: "Double Negg-ative" (Cartoon Network Block Party #51) plays this for laughs. Grim is keeping a cosmic egg on him—he says breaking it will cause the end of everything—which Mandy secretly steals and lets Billy, who is taking possession of a regular egg to show he can be careful, take the rap for it. The egg Billy has breaks and Grim is in an egg factory thinking the cosmic egg is lost in there. It ends with the cosmic egg in Mandy's dress pocket which she taps with her hand—and subsequently breaks it.

    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 early bacterial life was given a jump-start 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.
  • In Fossil Hunter, book two of The Quintaglio Ascension, the prologue is an excerpt from the first sacred scroll, the Quintaglio religious text: Five thousand kilodays ago, God laid the eight eggs of creation. When they hatched, the world was born.
  • "The Egg", a short story by Andy Weir, in which God explains to the protagonist that the universe is analogous to an egg, destined to "hatch" when the protagonist has fully matured by living every human life.

    Music 
  • Provided the name and album cover for Wolfmother's second full album.
  • Björk'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."

    Mythology and Religion 
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    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Rosalina's starship, in Super Mario Galaxy has a warp field that makes it look like an egg. Given that she's apparently the overseer of the rebirth of the universe, this is likely intentional.
  • Arceus is a godlike Pokémon who supposedly "hatched from an egg in a place where there was nothing" before creating the world. Also, he'll create you one with one of the Sinnoh legendaries in a Heartgold and Soulsilver event.
  • While it's never stated whether or not the universe itself hatched from them, the Cosmic Eggs of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey have the power to remake the Earth as a world of absolute Law or Chaos. They can also be detonated in order to destroy the Schwarzwelt instead.
    • By gum, Tokyo in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne sure is round like the inside of a cosmic egg! Which it is, and it's up to the main character to determine what kind of world will emerge from it. Or he can destroy the restarter mechanism and goes on a Rage Against the Heavens.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, Krishna's ultimate goal is to turn his pet snake Shesha into the Cosmic Egg, from which a new Universe separate from YHVH's jurisdiction would be created. It sounds fine and dandy (especially when you consider what sort of god YHVH is in this setting), but unfortunately, Shesha needs to consume boatloads of human souls to gain enough power to become the Cosmic Egg, and this forces an alliance of all of the other warring factions in the game to stop Krishna and his allies from realizing their goal. Later, Shesha succeeds in becoming the Cosmic Egg, though it's up to the player to decide whether they will use it to create a new Universe, or to destroy it.
  • In Oracle of Tao, Ambrosia uses one of these to make all existence real (before that, it was more a Lotus-Eater Machine with herself as the only real person).
  • The Precursor stone in Jak II: Renegade is the last Precursor egg.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 uses one of these as a MacGuffin. Tokitoki, the pet bird of the Supreme Kai of Time, has laid an egg that will eventually give rise to a brand-new universe; Towa wants it because the massive energy contained within could help her revive the Demon Realm. Mira ends up absorbing the egg — and Towa — achieving a level of power on par with Super Saiyan 4. With Goku's help, the Player Character is able to recover the egg before defeating Mira.
  • In the Warcraft universe Titans were giant humanoids large enough to hold planets in the palm of their hand, and were essentially gods. Not only were they imbued with The Light, but they took it upon themselves to order the universe in their search for more Titans. Titans begin their lives as planets with a "nascent world soul" and only when they're "ready" do they hatch. Azeroth contains the most powerful Titan world soul they ever found, which is why the Old Gods are set on corrupting it to birth a Dark Titan and why Sargaras is so focused on destroying it to prevent the same. Best not to think about what will happen to all the player races if it finally hatches.
  • The Elder Scrolls functions on the Hindu idea of the kalpa, or "time-egg": the concept that the current universe is the "egg" for the next universe and that when this one dies the next one will be born. How this functions in the setting is that when Mundus (the universe that the games take place in) was first formed, the Aedra (the gods that created the world) come together to establish the rules and behaviors of the universe, and when the time comes for it to end, Alduin the World Eater emerges to consume the world and reset it to primordial chaos, and from this the Aedra create a new, better world with new laws and rules, taken from what they found best from the previous one.

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

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • The very Big Bang itself. In fact Georges Lemaître, the first scientist to suggest that origin for the Universe, originally referred to it as a cosmic egg.


Alternative Title(s): World Egg

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