Is It Possible to Tell How Old Eggs Are?

The age of an egg is typically unable to be definitively determined, unlike the ago of the majority of other fossilized animal remains. The study and classification of eggs is a science known as oology. If eggs are left with their inner contents untouched, they will usually eventually rot, which may make it more difficult to figure out egg age. Eggs can be preserved by poking tiny holes into the shells and extracting the insides, and in some cases the eggs will fossilize. Even if fossilized eggs are found, it is difficult for scientists to study their insides closely enough to determine age. CAT scans or soaking the fossils in mild acid may be used to view the insides, but generally age is only hypothesized by comparing eggs to other remains found near them.

More about eggs:

  • Collecting wild eggs was first officially made illegal in the United States in 1918, followed by the United Kingdom in 1954, and is generally not permitted throughout the world.
  • Bird eggs are more likely to be speckled if they were laid on the ground, as opposed to a nest in a tree.
  • Papaya extract is often injected into eggs to dissolve the inner contents, which can take up to three weeks.
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Discussion Comments


When I was a kid we had some chickens and I was convinced that there was nothing worse than a rotten egg. The smell is completely hideous and it lasts for a long time.

But then, we accidentally picked up and boiled an egg that had an embryo in it. That gave me nightmares for weeks and I was a pretty brave kid.


@MrsPramm - I don't know why they put such a short time on egg boxes, because often they are good for weeks, rather than the days they advise at the supermarket. And, if anything, they become easier to peel if you wait until they are a few days old. If you try to boil very fresh eggs the shell won't peel off properly.

If you absolutely have to boil fresh eggs, you can put a little bit of baking soda into the water and that will help. But, honestly, I don't think the taste is any different if you wait and it's a lot easier to shell them when the egg doesn't stick to the shell.


You can tell how old your eggs are in the kitchen very easily. All you have to do is put them in some water. If they float, you should throw them out.

If they kind of stand on their ends, but don't quite float to the surface, then they are starting to get to the point where you need to eat them before they go off. If they lie on the bottom, they are still fine to eat.

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