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Message on an Egg

A woman wrote a message on an eggshell in 1951. Seventy-two years later, someone found the egg!
An old egg with “Miss Mary Foss, Forest City, Iowa” written on it.
John Amalfitano
Mary Foss wrote a message on this egg in 1951. In 2023, someone replied!

In 1951, Mary Foss Starn wrote a message on an egg.

“Whoever gets this egg, please write [to] me,” the message said. Along with the message, Starn wrote her address and name (which was just Mary Foss at the time) on the egg.

Starn worked at an egg-packing factory, putting eggs into cartons. She wrote the message knowing the egg would be sold at a grocery store. She hoped someone would find the message and write her a letter. In fact, she hoped they could write letters back and forth and become “pen pals.” It didn’t happen.

Then, in 2023, Starn’s daughter received a Facebook message about a very old and unusual egg!

Back in 1951, a man named Miller Richardson found Starn’s egg inside a carton he had bought. Richardson liked to collect things. He wrapped up the egg and put it in a box. Many years later, he gave the egg to his neighbor, John Amalfitano. For the past 20 years, Amalfitano has kept the egg inside a silver cup. In 2023, he took photos of the egg and made a Facebook post about it.

“Here’s something you don’t see every day,” Amalfitano wrote. “It’s an egg, from 1951. ([The] egg is still inside, though petrified!)” When something has petrified, it has hardened.

A family member saw Amalfitano’s post and sent a message to Starn’s daughter. Soon, Amalfitano and Starn were talking to each other on the phone. Starn, who is now 92, said she was thrilled to hear from Amalfitano.

“I’m happy to have a new friend,” she told the Washington Post. “I finally have my pen pal, and it only took 72 years.”

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Fun Fact

GIF similar to an old video game showing a chicken in the air dropping eggs into a basket held by a farmer who is standing below.
© Kaleb, Karolina, Non248/; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The average American eats almost 300 eggs a year!

Yup, That’s an Egg!

Two hands hold a dark object shaped like a spiral.
Paul Bersebach/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

What shape is an egg?

Many animal species lay eggs, and most of them are oval, round, or similar to those two shapes. But a horn shark egg doesn’t look oval or round at all. It looks like a spiral!

There’s a reason the horn shark’s eggs are shaped this way. Scientists think these eggs have enough edges that they can get stuck in little spaces in undersea rocks. Once in these spaces, the eggs won’t move with the water, and they will be safe until they hatch!

Egg-ceptionally Large

© Marcel/

The big egg on the left was laid by an ostrich!
Which animal lays the world’s largest eggs? It’s the ostrich! Is it true that ostriches don’t fly? Can ostriches run? Find out about these big birds at Britannica!
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Word of the Day


Part of speech:


: used to describe something (such as wood) that has slowly changed into stone or a substance like stone over a very long period of time
Definitions provided by
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See if you can find all the animals in the puzzle. They all lay eggs. Can you think of other animals that lay eggs?

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