This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Hello and welcome to 2019, everyone, where the TSA blares Travis Scott, the White House is full of fast food buffets, and the single most popular image on Instagram is currently a rather nondescript stock photo of an egg—and even the guy who shot the picture has no idea why, Insider reports.
According to Insider, the photo was taken by Serghei Platanov, who uploaded the thing to Shutterstock along with a bunch of other images of hoagies and croissants and shit. Platanov never thought there was anything special about the egg photo, he told Insider over email. He never knew it would achieve such great heights.
"My goal was to take a simple picture of an egg. For fun. Never ever I could think that it would be a sensation like this," he said. "Egg is just an egg."
For you lucky, internet-averse few who haven't been following this simple egg's rapid rise to stardom, let's recap: First, on January 4, the Instagram account @world_record_egg posted a photo of an egg with the caption, "Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)!" Then, it did.
That's it. That's the whole story.
It is a baffling tale seemingly tailor-made for these baffling times, just some meaningless shit gaining popularly based solely on its inherent meaninglessness. But nevertheless, the masses have somehow deemed this speckled brown egg worthy of love, so here we are.
Platanov was surprised to find out that his photo had become so popular thanks to what he called a "meme campaign," but, in his view, it is the very ordinariness of the egg that makes it so great, he told Insider.
"It does not pretend to be an image for getting fans, it does not pretend to be a Fabergé egg or imagining 'Would I look better if I am colored for Easter, what color fits me best.' It is not hunting for anyone's attention," he said. "It is simple egg."
Maybe there is some great, zen-like wisdom in the egg after all. Maybe it is a koan for our modern times. Maybe we must all strive to be more egg-like, moving forward—more open, more earnest, more honestly ourselves. Egg is just egg. You are just you. We are all simple eggs. The egg's success is our success. Thank you, Platanov, for the reminder.