Taking Inventory: Spawn Egg
Who laid this?
Hey you! Yes, you. Do you want a zombie? Or a skeleton? No? How about an illager? Not that either? Err... maybe a pig? What do you mean you can get a pig anywhere? Okay okay. How about a shulker, mooshroom, or a panda? Yeeees! You can have one, right here and now. All you need to do is get hold of our item of the week – the spawn egg.
Alright you got me. The spawn egg isn’t one item – it’s 69 different items at the time of writing, one for each different kind of thing you can spawn. Nice. But it makes sense to lump them together into one item because spawn eggs all do one thing, and do it expertly. They spawn creatures.
Let’s back up a moment - where did these things even come from? Spawn eggs were added to Minecraft all the way back in Minecraft version 1.1, which is one of very few Minecraft versions that does have a fancy name like “The Adventure Update” or “Caves & Cliffs”. It was released in 2012, and – fun fact – is the only major release of the game that didn’t actually introduce any new blocks. Not sure how we let that one through.
Spawn eggs are impossible to get hold of without using cheats or Creative Mode, but they’re pretty easy to use once you have one. Just hit the use button while aiming at any surface, and the mob in question will spawn immediately. You can’t throw them like regular eggs, but you can put them in dispensers for automatic mob-spawning using redstone circuitry.
Perhaps you’re feeling like you want something cute in your life and you want *baby* animals to spawn. No problem. Aim at an existing mob with your spawn egg, hit use, and you’ll get a baby version. Adorable! Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to find a spawner in a dungeon or something, then you can use a spawn egg on it to change what creature spawns. Yes, you can fill a dungeon with chickens.
Almost all animals in the real world also have spawn eggs. Some of them, like birds and spiders, lay those eggs and you can pick them up and hold them and have them on toast. Some, like mammals (including humans), keep their eggs inside their bodies and give birth to babies instead.
The largest recorded eggs come from whale sharks, which measure 30cm by 14cm by 9cm and generally hatch inside the mother. The smallest known bird egg is that of the bee hummingbird - it weighs half a gram – though the eggs of reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects can be far, far smaller.
Eggs are an important part of human culture all around the world, representing life and rebirth, healing and protection. Decorating eggs is very common too, for the same reason. Egg collecting was once a popular hobby in Europe, but collecting wild eggs is now banned in many places because it threatens endangered and rare species.
In Minecraft, there are rare mobs but none are endangered. So go ahead and collect as many spawn eggs as you want to!
- Duncan Geere