Viewers of ESPN2’s Manningcast on Monday night were intrigued by the giant dinosaur skull behind Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson when 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 dinosaur in the room.
Johnson said it was a Tyrannosaurus rex skull named for the paleontologist who discovered it, a man named Stan.
“So this T. rex head is named after him. Pretty cool and cool, huh?” Johnson said.
Johnson’s admission that he bought the skull immediately had people wondering if he was the mystery buyer who thwarted scientists nearly a year and a half ago. According to an October 12, 2020 article on the National Geographic website, a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex was found in 1992 and named after the amateur paleontologist who discovered it: Stan Sacrison.
The dinosaur bones sold for a fossil record $31.8 million at auction to an anonymous buyer.
Did Johnson introduce himself as the buyer?
It’s not nice. Black Hills Institute sells skull replicas for the low price of $11,500. That’s the far more likely purchase, especially considering the rest of the fossil wasn’t after Johnson.
If Johnson had wanted a replica of the complete T. rex skeleton, it would have cost a bit more. Black Hills Institute has that for sale at $120,000.