Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson confirmed that he's not the secretive buyer of a $31.8 million T. rex after social-media rumors
- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is not the mysterious buyer of Stan, a $31.8 million T. rex skeleton.
- Johnson made a TV appearance Monday with a T. rex skull behind him, prompting speculation.
- He confirmed on Instagram that his T. rex skull is just a replica of the "extraordinary" dinosaur.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson debunked rumors he was the mysterious and controversial buyer who spent $31.8 million buying one of the best-preserved T. rex skeletons ever discovered , saying he just owns a replica.
Speculation began on Monday that Johnson may have been the person who bought the T. rex at auction in October 2020, following his appearance on Monday Night Football's "Manningcast" segment.
Johnson appeared on the show, hosted by legendary NFL brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, to discuss a Wild Card playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.
However, he drew most attention for the life-sized T. rex skull behind him in his office, which he called Stan.
"Wait, what is that? You've got a T. rex behind you? What is that?!" Eli asked the former WWE star as they watched the game.
"I got a T. rex skull, yeah," Johnson replied, laughing. "That's Stan. As a matter of fact, Stan is the most complete T. rex skull ever found by a young paleontologist, and his name was Stan, so this T. rex head was named after him."
Soon afterwards a picture of Johnson and his T. rex skull was shared by podcast host Pat McAfee , at which point social media users made the connection between Johnson's possession and the real Stan.
Taking to Instagram Tuesday night, however, Johnson confirmed that he simply owns a replica of Stan's skull, and wasn't the mystery 2020 buyer.
"After my LIVE interview on last night's ManningCast on NFL's Monday Night Football, there's been tons of worldwide speculation in the world of science ~ that I am the 'mystery buyer' of the original T-REX skull, known as STAN," Johnson wrote alongside a picture of the cast.
"I am not the mystery buyer."
"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."
He went on to say that while he doesn't own Stan, he does have something in common with him.
"STAN's a fucking bad ass," he wrote. "And reminds me of myself."
"Not because I'm a bad ass, but because I'm 67 MILLION YEARS OLD TOO."
He also added that if he did own the real Stan, he'd be kept in a museum, not in a study.
The sale of Stan caused controversy in the scientific community. Paleontologists were angered by the inflated price the buyer paid, and worried the sale could encourage people to seek profit over scientific discovery in the future.
"This is terrible for science and is a great boost and incentive for commercial outfits to exploit the dinosaur fossils of the American West," an expert told National Geographic .Read the original article on Insider