The Egg of Columbus refers in the first place to a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact is done. The expression refers to an apocryphal story, dating from at least the 15th century, in which it is said that Christopher Columbus, having heard at a gentlemen's meeting that discovering a new trade route to the West Indies was inevitable and not a great discovery, nor a feat, he challenged his critics to make a chicken egg stand on its tip. After several unsuccessful attempts by his critics, they gave up. And it is there that Columbus, cracking the egg by tapping it against the table to flatten its tip, set it up without problems. When protesting saying that it was very simple and that they too could have cracked the egg, Columbus, immutable, said: "It is true, but it was I who did it!" And everyone understood that with the discovery of America it was the same thing: it was something "trivial", but it was Columbus who did it first!

There are multiple prints and paintings inspired by the Egg of Columbus' idea. One of them, illustrating this question, is that of the Swedish painter Nils Dardel. A sculpture inspired by the Egg of Columbus is in Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza, Spain.

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