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Pretty much every man, woman, and child in Japan works hard. Professionals throw themselves into their jobs, homemakers take on just about every domestic responsibility by themselves, and kids are expected to not only keep up with their regular studies, but also attend cram schools after their normal classes get out in the afternoon.

But is the Japanese work ethic so infectious that it caused a group of industrious chickens to lay an entire batch of double-yolk eggs?

Japan has a sort of tradition in which parents will often give or send foodstuffs to their adult children. This is especially common if the parents live in the countryside and the child has moved to the big city, with singles in particular often the recipients of care packages of a big of rice or crate of produce from back home.

Twitter user Umeboshi recently received a pack of eggs from her mom. Perhaps planning to add them to her salads or sandwiches, the daughter boiled what looks to be the dozen eggs she’d been given…only to find two dozen yolks.

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Every single one of the eggs turned out to contain a double yolk. So what gives?

While Umeboshi is apparently yet to ask her parent how she came by the eggs, Twitter user Mitsuko has the basis of a plausible theory.

Egg farmers can tell whether or not a hen has laid a double-yolk egg without cracking it open. The shells of double-yolk eggs tend to be longer and more pointed than those of single-yolks, and the two yolks can also be seen when using a light to inspect the contents of the egg without cracking it.

Double-yolk eggs taste just the same as single-yolks ones, and some people actually feel lucky to discover one. Not everyone is left with such a positive impression, though. Some shoppers find them kind of gross, and so to avoid shocking their more sensitive customers, egg farmers generally remove them from any batches before they’re shipped to market, as pointed out by Mitsuko.

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As such, it seems pretty clear that Umeboshi’s mom somehow got her hands on a package filled entirely of double-yolks that had been set aside during sorting at the farm. Maybe she has a friend who raises chickens and hooks her up with the unusual eggs that are fine to eat but tough to sell. Or maybe she’s known in the local community as “that lady who just can’t get enough egg yolks” and the producer boxes up a special selection just for her.

Either way, Umeboshi can eat the extra-content eggs without fear, as the phenomena of double-yolks is entirely natural. It generally occurs with young hens who’ve just reached egg-laying age, and is a result of their ovulation rhythm still not being entirely stabilized. In other words, it’s not the result of feed additives or improper handling, just like it doesn’t really have anything to do with Japan’s passion for productivity and economic performance.

Sources: Curazy, Gizmodo
Top image: Okitama.net
Insert images: Twitter