Columbus' Egg

Columbus' Egg


The Egg of Columbus typically insinuates a discovery or idea that comes out as a rather simple solution after it is solved or once the fact is revealed.


With no guarantee of authenticity, let us tell you the story... if nothing else, it could well be an Eggzotic legend, a story worth telling over a few Italian style eggs.


Circa fifteenth century, there was a story doing rounds about the great explorer, Columbus. It is said that he was sitting amongst a few Spaniards who were trying to trivialize Columbus’ exploratory feats. The group opined that exploring a new trade route would have taken place any way even if it was not Columbus who did it. Someone would have sure discovered it and Columbus was not among the greats to have taken the initiative. It was no great accomplishment is what Columbus was told at the gathering.


As a response, Columbus asked for an egg and challenged, all present, to make the egg stand on its tip. He said he could lay a bet with anyone who could make it stand on its tip. Everyone tried and, as expected, no one succeeded. Columbus then, took the matter (which in this case was the Egg) in his hand. He took a close look at the Egg, tapped its tip to make it slightly flat and made it stand on its tip. Seeing this many a guest present said this was an easy task to which Columbus retorted that even if it was easy, it was Columbus who thought about the idea and no one else did. The detractors were left speechless and this phenomenon, thereon, became famous as the Columbus’ Egg.


Columbus’ Egg is often related to creativity and problem solving. There are puzzles by this name. A similar story is famous with almost the same storyline but associated with an Italian architect involved in the designing of the extraordinarily (by the standards of that time) large and heavy dome for Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence, Italy.


The fact of the matter, nonetheless, remains that anything is possible to get done and can be done by anyone if the person possesses the right set of skills. However, not everyone knows how to do it except for avante garde thinkers and explorers like Columbus.


Eggsplore the various facets of Eggs on this website and continue to get Eggcited by similar other Eggstraordinary stories.