Maria La Frenais got more than she bargained for when she broke an egg for breakfast.
The Glendene resident was about to start a morning fry-up when she made the unusual discovery - an egg inside an egg.
"I cracked it into the pan and out came a small yolk," she says.
"But to my amazement there was another fully formed egg in the shell.
"I then cracked open the inner egg which had a yolk the same size as the first," she says.
Ms La Frenais says the egg - described by experts as a freak of nature - was in a tray of supersized free range eggs.
"I am keeping the shells as mementoes," she says.
Bird expert and veterinarian Kevin Turner says Ms La Frenais? discovery is odd.
"I've never seen it before," he says.
An egg within an egg was found in New South Wales in 2004.
It was the first Sydney University poultry science professor Tom Scott had seen in his 30-year career.
He says a normal egg disturbed in the shell gland could move back up into the oviduct and start production all over again, resulting in an egg inside an egg.
Auckland Zoo vet Berend Westera says the case is rare and defies logic.
He has consulted colleagues overseas who have seen similar things. They say there are documented cases from the late 1800s to 1945.
But Dr Peter Sandmeier from Switzerland has a story to beat all.
He was amazed when three eggs appeared on an x-ray of a budgie that was having trouble laying.
"The third egg was about one-third the normal size, had a normal shell and was within another egg," he says.
"The bird is fine."
- © Fairfax NZ News