By Wayne Sterling, CNN
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t the anonymous T-Rex skull buyer.
In October 2020, a 39-foot T-Rex fossil — nicknamed “Stan” in acknowledgement of its discoverer Stan Sacrison who excavated the remains in 1992 — was sold to an anonymous buyer at a Christie’s live auction for a $31,847,500 fee, according to the National Geographic.
On Monday, Johnson was spotted with a giant T-Rex skull in his home office during his virtual appearance on “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli.”
Co-host Eli Manning pointed out the dinosaur.
“I got a T-Rex skull, yes,” Johnson laughed. “That’s ‘Stan.’ So as a matter of fact ‘Stan’ is the most complete T-Rex skull ever found by a paleontologist — a young paleontologist — and his name was Stan, so this T-Rex head was named after him. Pretty cool and badass isn’t it?”
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, Johnson said he isn’t the buyer and that the skull seen on the ManningCast is a replica.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.
“The original STAN was found in 1987, by amateur paleontologist, Stan Sacrison and finally excavated in 1992. In science, this T-REX skull is considered to be the most perfectly preserved skull ever found. Bones of this beautiful beast were perfectly pristine.
“This is why STAN is so extraordinary and special. In 2020, STAN was auctioned and sold for $31.8 million to an anonymous buyer and never seen again. That buyer was not me.
“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.”
Johnson has segued from professional wrestler to movie star, major entrepreneur and someone nearly half of America would like to see as the next president of the United States, according to one poll. He has 285 million Instagram followers.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Chloe Melas contributed to this report.