“This T-REX skull is considered to be the most perfectly preserved skull ever found.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has come clean about that Tyrannosaurus Rex skull sitting behind him during his appearance on this week’s “ManningCast” on Monday Night Football. Turns out it was merely a replica and not the real, $32 million dinosaur fossil known as “Stan.”
Johnson went viral on social media after he spoke about the T-Rex skull, nicknamed after the paleontologist who discovered him, sparking questions about whether the mega-rich actor was the secret buyer who bought the fossil at auction in October 2020 for nearly $32 million.
But Johnson said he wasn’t the “mystery buyer” in a lengthy Instagram post.
“In my home office, this is my REPLICA CAST of STAN that I had made and purchased from my friends at The Black Hills Institute of Geological Research and Paleontological Excavations,” Johnson wrote in a post featuring the replica.
“My love, respect, fascination and curiosity for paleontological & archeological science runs deep – and if I was the proud owner of the real STAN, I sure as hell wouldn’t keep him in my office. I’d keep him in a museum, so the world could enjoy, study and learn from him.”
The T-Rex in question was discovered more than 30 years ago in South Dakota by a paleontologist named Stan Sacrison. It was fully excavated in 1992 and later housed at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, according to National Geographic.
“That’s an astronomical price that borders on absurdity, based on my knowledge of the market,” paleontologist David Evans told the magazine at the time. “If this kind of money [were] invested properly, it could easily fund 15 permanent dinosaur research positions, or about 80 full field expeditions per year, in perpetuity.”
Read The Rock’s full statement putting the rumors to rest in the IG post above.