A bizarre situation unfolded on the Monday Night Football ManningCast during the NFL playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a guest on the ESPN2 program, and Eli Manning asked Johnson about a huge dinosaur skull that was in the background. Johnson explained that the “badass” dinosaur skull was that of “Stan,” a Tyrannosaurus rex- named after the paleontologist — Stan Sacrison — who discovered the fossil (found in 1987, excavated in 1992).
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 18, 2022
Well, that then led to a lot of questions from people watching the broadcast.
Stan the T. rex sold for a record $31.8 million to an anonymous buyer at a Christie’s auction in Oct. 2020, in a move that was heavily criticized by the science community. Paleontologist Thomas Carr spoke of the anonymous buyer, via National Geographic: “Do the right thing: totally relinquish your ownership of the fossil and donate it to an accredited natural history museum so that science can ethically be done on Stan for the benefit of everyone on the planet who has an interest in dinosaurs.”
So, viewers of the ManningCast were left wondering if The Rock had (perhaps accidentally) revealed that he was the anonymous buyer of Stan the T. rex. After all, we know that The Rock has the money, and he certainly seemed quite proud when explaining the dinosaur skull- while making it seem like the real thing.
However, Johnson took to Instagram on Tuesday night to explain that his version of Stan the T. rex is a replica; he’s *not* the mystery buyer, and he claims that he’d keep the real Stan in a museum instead of an office if he was.
Here are a couple of excerpts from The Rock’s Instagram post, followed by the Instagram post and his full explanation:
“After my LIVE interview on last night’s #ManningCast on @NFL’s Monday Night Football, there’s been tons of worldwide speculation in the world of science ~ that I am the ‘mystery buyer’ of the original T-REX skull, known as STAN.
I am not.”
“In 2020, STAN was auctioned and sold for $31.8 million to an anonymous buyer and never seen again.
That buyer was not me.
My love, respect, fascination and curiosity for paleontological & archeological science runs deep – and if I was the proud owner of the real STAN, I sure as hell wouldn’t keep him in my office.
I’d keep him in a museum, so the world could enjoy, study and learn from him.”
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After my LIVE interview on last night’s #ManningCast on @NFL’s Monday Night Football, there’s been tons of worldwide speculation in the world of science ~ that I am the “mystery buyer” of the original T-REX skull, known as STAN.
I am not.
In my home office, this is my REPLICA CAST of STAN that I had made and purchased from my friends at The Black Hills Institute of Geological Research and Paleontological Excavations ⛰🦖
*swipe left and you’ll meet my team 👏🏾👏🏾
The original STAN was found in 1987, by amateur paleontologist, Stan Sacrison and finally excavated in 1992.
In science, this T-REX skull is considered to be the most perfectly preserved skull ever found. Bones of this beautiful beast were perfectly pristine.
This is why STAN is so extraordinary and special.
In 2020, STAN was auctioned and sold for $31.8 million to an anonymous buyer and never seen again.
That buyer was not me.
My love, respect, fascination and curiosity for paleontological & archeological science runs deep – and if I was the proud owner of the real STAN, I sure as hell wouldn’t keep him in my office 🤣🦖
I’d keep him in a museum, so the world could enjoy, study and learn from him.
* some cool paleontology history for you guys ~ based on anatomical research, STAN had some BRUTAL fights during his lifetime.
Multiple bites and punctures from another T-Rex all over his skull as well as at the base of his skull that resulted in a broken neck, which STAN SURVIVED but his vertebrae were fused, resulted in loss of mobility and great pain for the rest of his life.
STAN’s a f*cking bad ass.
And reminds me of myself.
Not because I’m a bad ass, but because I’m 67 MILLION YEARS OLD TOO 😂🦖
Cheers to the Cretaceous Legend himself…
So, that quickly puts an end to a mystery that nobody expected to encounter on the ManningCast.
Replica skulls of Stan the T. Rex can be found for $11,500.
[Photo Credit: ESPN2]