While it doesn’t answer the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, this high school class experiment is a pretty amazing one nonetheless.

Some years ago Japanese researchers published an exciting finding in a science journal that a chick could be hatched using a shell-less embryo, which became a total game-changer for scientists looking for ways to study how chicks grow during their developmental stages and how to conserve abandoned or damaged eggs from endangered species of birds.

One class at Oihama High School in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, however, elaborated on this strategy using a piece of Saran wrap to hold the fetus and provide just the right amount of oxygen flow, in addition to providing it with calcium and water.

A video of the experiment, which was recently broadcast on national television, quickly caught international attention, and it’s not hard to see why after watching the video below.

The whole process takes less than a month and has a 60 percent success rate, which is the highest of any shell-less hatching process so far. It only takes three days for the chick’s heart to begin beating, and by day 21 it’s fully developed.

The process is actually surprisingly simple. After stretching out some plastic wrap, the egg shell is cracked and the contents are transferred carefully to the plastic wrap.


After that the egg is artificially fertilized and the placed in an incubator where it will develop (mostly) naturally.


▼ Without the shell, the students were able to observe
the heart beating during development.


▼ A zoomed look at the egg with the beating heart…


▼ 21 days later, the full form of the chick can be clearly seen!


For a full translation of the video, you can check out this Facebook video from the fine folks over at Spoon and Tamago.

The experiment requires a lab and a sterile environment, so for now it isn’t something that can be replicated at home, but that just goes to prove just how talented these students are and how incredible their success has been.

Source: Science Alert, YouTube
Feature/top image: YouTube