All hail the egg.
In an unexpected development, a simple photo of an egg has gone absolutely bonkers and become the most-liked photo in the history of Instagram.
Yes, an organic vessel responsible for carrying an animal embryo during development now holds top spot after raking in 23 million likes in just over a week, smashing Kylie Jenner’s record of 18.3 million on a photo of her child, Stormi, holding one of her fingers.
If you thought the image featured above was a generic placeholder we used to pique your curiosity and that the real photo was far more impressive, you’d be wrong.
Here is the new champion in all its glory:
So simple. So graceful. So majestic. Long shall it reign.
Here’s Jenner’s photo, which now ranks at number two:
19 of the top 20 Instagram posts by likes are from celebrities, so its refreshing to see something new grab our increasingly fleeting attention. There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to this ranking, and it’s already been updated to reflect the egg’s wonderful achievement.
The photo was posted by an account with the handle @world_record_egg, which has only posted one photo: the egg. Its profile picture is of the same egg. I’m going to type egg one more time. Egg.
While I’m all for such a ridiculous photo becoming the most popular photo on a platform plagued by big egos, shameless self-promotion, rampant bots and dreadful influencer culture, the fact the post was engineered to become king (as evidenced by the caption) makes the whole thing feel a little hollow. I had similar feelings just the other day when a Japanese billionaire broke the retweet record on Twitter by promising over a million bucks to 100 random people who shared his post.
Can’t we like an egg because it’s an egg, not because of what we want it to be? Maybe I’m just a purist. Maybe I’m just someone who is thinking far too long and hard about a photo of an egg. Maybe that’s the point. It’s a conversation starter. Is it just an egg, or does it represent something more? Does it symbolise how ridiculous our species has become, turning part of an animal’s reproductive process into a vehicle for destabilisation on a digital platform designed to aggregate various forms of captured light? Does the egg itself represent new beginnings, using its rise to the top of Instagram’s rankings to demonstrate how a simple idea can transform the very fabric of our society?
That, or it’s just an egg.