Imagine a Sunday afternoon in tropical Darwin. Dr Peter Beaumont is preparing dinner, Thai fishcakes. An egg he cracks into his bowl of ingredients seems a little cloudy so he turns over the egg shell to see a tiny gecko pinned between the outer hard shell and the inner shell membrane.
Ugh! I imagine you’re saying. But how did it get in there? Darwin is crawling with geckos that get into any tiny space they can find, but inside an unbroken eggshell? Besides, the gecko is imbeded in the egg between the outer hard layer and the membrane. So the gecko somehow got to the egg sometime while it was forming.
Are you thinking maybe the chicken ate the gecko and it somehow made it through all the chickens digestive system to end up in the egg. Not possible, it seems, and the gecko is intact, preserves in natures clingwrap.
And so now you maybe coming to the conclusion that our doctor friends, President of the AMA (Australian Medical Association) in the Northern Territory, has struck upon. Sometime while that egg was being made the gecko climbed up the chicken’s bottom (colaca) and died. The suggestion is that the tiny lizard went looking for a feed of fresh egg, took a wrong turn and ended up dying trapped inside the chicken.
Sounds disgusting but theoretically understandable doesn’t it. At least it does until you realise where the egg came from. Bought from a supermarket, the egg was traced to a farm in New South Wales. The gecko is of a variety that is not native to Australia and not found in that area.
This is just the sort of story that sets me giggling all day. Not only does this story come from Darwin (Australia’s answer to Ireland), not only a doctor but the President of the Medical association, not only a lizard found in food, but a lizard that shouldn’t even live here in Australia, and not only has the gecko got into said food in the most extraordinary way but it seems it’s the only case of its kind in the entire world. It has scientists baffled and that is always a good thing. Who needs fiction when real life provides such unbelieveable stories.