Did Dwayne Johnson admit to massive T. rex fossil purchase? Actor puzzles internet on Manningcast

Viewers of ESPN2’s Manningcast on Monday night were intrigued by the giant dinosaur skull behind Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the actor appeared as a guest with Peyton and Eli Manning.

After viewers began to wonder about the story behind the fossil, Johnson was finally asked about the dino in the room.

Johnson said that it was a Tyrannosaurus rex skull named after the paleontologist who discovered it, a man named Stan.

“So this T. rex head was named after him. Pretty cool and bada—, isn’t it?” Johnson said.

Johnson’s admission that he purchased the skull immediately made people wonder if he was the mysterious buyer who frustrated scientists nearly a year and a half ago. According to an Oct. 12, 2020, article on National Geographic’s website, a Tyrannosaurus rex was found mostly complete in 1992 and was named for the amateur paleontologist who discovered it: Stan Sacrison.

The dinosaur bones were sold for a fossil-record $31.8 million at auction to an anonymous buyer.

Did Johnson out himself as the buyer?

It’s unlikely. The Black Hills Institute sells replicas of the skull for the low price of $11,500. That’s the far more likely purchase, especially considering the rest of the fossil was not behind Johnson.

If Johnson had wanted a replica of the full T. rex skeleton, that would have cost just a little bit more. The Black Hills Institute has that for sale at $120,000.

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