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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The cosmic egg is an ancient mythological concept resurrected by modern science in the 1930s and explored by theoreticians during the following two decades. The idea comes from a perceived need to reconcile Edwin Hubble's observation of an expanding universe (which was also predicted from Einstein's equations of general relativity by Alexander Friedmann) with the notion that the universe must be eternally old.

Current cosmological models maintain that 13.7 billion years ago, the entire mass of the universe was compressed into a singularity, from which it expanded to its current state (following the Big Bang), the so-called cosmic egg.

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Ancient ideas about a cosmic egg

Hindu concepts of Hiranyagarbha (golden womb) and Brahmanda (the first egg), are comparable to cosmic egg origin systems. The Bhagavata Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Vayu Purana among others contain references to the initial process of the origins of the universe as a cosmic egg. The twelve phase creation of the universe and the history of our Brahmanda is described in Srimad Bhagvatam.

The Hiranyagarbha Sukta announces: Hiranyagarbhah samavartatagre bhutasya jatah patireka asit, which means, Before creation existed the golden womb Hiranyagarbha, Lord of everything born. (Rig Veda 10.121.1)

The whole universe including sun, moon, planets, and galaxies was all inside the egg, and the egg was surrounded by ten qualities from outside. (Vayu Purana 4.74-75)

At the end of thousand years, the Egg was divided in two by Vayu. (Vayu Purana 24.73)

Furthermore the god Mithras is often depicted as appearing from within an egg.

Metaphysics and philosophy

"The Crack in the Cosmic Egg" is a book by Joseph Chilton Pearce and Thom Hartmann. The same title was used by musicologists Alan and Steve Freeman for their encyclopedia of Krautrock (also called Kosmische musik), German experimental rock music from the 1970s.

Hindu tantra

In Hindu tantra, based on the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, the Shri Yantra represents the expansion of the universe from the cosmic egg after its creation by Shiva through the power of Shakti. The cosmic egg is represented by a dot in the center of the Shri Yantra mandala called the bindu.

Cosmic egg in modern cosmology

Georges Lemaitre proposed in 1927 that the cosmos originated from what he called the primeval atom.

In the late 1940s, George Gamow's assistant cosmological researcher Ralph Alpher, proposed the name ylem for the primordial substance that existed between the big crunch of the previous universe and the big bang of our own universe.

Influences on science fiction and popular culture

The cosmic egg concept has caught the imagination of many science fiction and fantasy writers, including the creators of the Marvel Comics character Galactus. Galactus, with the help of the Phoenix Force managed to survive the previous Big Crunch and, preserved in the cosmic egg, emerged as a being of immense power in the present universe. The cosmic egg concept was also used by DC Comics and Marvel comics in their Avengers/JLA crossover, in which it was used to capture their mutual enemy Krona.

In the 1970 science fiction novel Tau Zero by Poul Anderson, a starship forced to travel very close to the speed of light by an engine malfunction survives traversing our universe collapsing via a big crunch into a cosmic egg and re-exploding in a new big bang. The crew of the starship finds a planet similar to Earth in the new universe, upon which they land and establish a colony.

In 1972 science fiction novel The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov baby universes, in their cosmic egg stage, are used as alternative fuel.

In the popular Pokémon series of games, the Alpha Pokémon Arceus is said to have been born from a Cosmic Egg in a churning turmoil of chaos; proceeding to shape the universe with its 1000 arms.

Early 1990s Rotherham 3 piece band The Cosmic Egg were named for this concept, and many of their recordings featured imagery and lyrics inspired by the original Cosmic Egg concept.

The Australian Rock band Wolfmother released their album Cosmic Egg on October 23, 2009

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "World egg" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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