First of all, I'm no expert in biology. I failed a lot in high school. Please bear with it if it's a stupid question.

For the past few days, I got a rotten smell as if an animal died in my kitchen. I cleaned and didn't find anything until I found the culprit today: leakage of rotten eggs.

There were two eggs in a hard plastic container, and one of them leaked a bit. Then I saw around 4-5 insects-kind of thing lurking around. It looks like a worm and if you ask me how those things look like, it's as if the egg yolk itself separated into the shape of worms and started moving. If I remember correctly, I believe I saw a pair of white dots (their eyes) in each.

Did those eggs (which was stored in a warm place) actually hatched and gave to a life? I threw all of them away, but I still feel really sick. Is it because of my carelessness that the egg yolk actually became alive in such shape?

Thanks beforehand.

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    $\begingroup$ The eggs only come to life when they get fertilized, which is not the case for hens which lay eggs commercially. Of course insects can live from the broken egg - it's pretty nutriceous. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 7, 2014 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ The only thing that is going to hatch from a chickens egg is a chicken, not a worm. As chris said - commercial eggs are not fertilised so will just go rotten. The worms you saw can from another source. $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Dec 7, 2014 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ Even if it were a fertilized egg, it wouldn't give rise to worms. If fertilized eggs are not refrigerated properly, they will also rot, not hatch a chicken. This is a question almost akin to spontaneous generation. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2014 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


A chick can't develop outside of it's egg, so you won't see an embryonic chick growing and wiggling in a pool of substance leaked from a cracked egg.

Centuries ago, people believed in spontaneous generation: that life can arise from non-living things. A common example of this was the fact that maggots would "arise" from rotting meat if left to rot.

Although this theory was disproved, it is not rare to find someone that still believes it, because they seem to see it happen.

In the 1800's, before DNA was discovered, it became accepted that "like gives rise to like" - that is, chicken eggs will hatch chicks (not peacocks or mice), pea seeds will always give rise to peas, etc.

DNA was 'discovered' in the late 1800's by Johann Friedrich Miescher. He extracted a new king of organic moleculr out of cell nuclei, which he called "nuclein". Although Miescher did develop some hypotheses about how "nuclein" might be involved in heredity, he ascribed to the view at the time that any one type of molecule would be too simple to account for all the variation seen within species.

It would be about 75 years before the magnitude of Miescher's discovery would be fully understood, and that DNA is the basis for heredity.

Chicken eggs, if they give rise to anything (which will depend on if it is fertilized and properly incubated) can only give rise to chickens. Whether they are fertilized or not, they can't give rise to worms. A chick can't develop outside of it's egg, so you won't see an embryonic chick growing and wiggling in a pool of substance leaked from a cracked egg.

If you buy bananas and let them ripen and rot on your kitchen counter, you will suddenly find a lot of fruit flies in the house. The fruit flies did not spontaneously arise from the bananas; they came from eggs laid on the bananas before you bought them.

If you buy bananas and wash them well when you get home, and let them rot, you will not find fruit flies buzzing around them.

That is why your rotten egg didn't give rise to those little worm things.


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