Dwayne Johnson Sets The Record Straight On Secret Identity Rumor

Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram to clear the air on whether he was the owner of a very old, and very expensive dinosaur skull

By Doug Norrie | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Ever feel like owning a $32 million dollar Tyrannosaurus rex skull? Yeah me too. Well, we aren’t the only ones. Because it looks like Dwayne Johnson wants to be in that mix too. And for a bit, there was rampant speculation that the box office superstar had actually ponied up the cash to purchase the most expensive fossil ever sold on the auction market. It all stemmed from an appearance he made last week on the Manning Cast during the Monday Night NFL playoff action in which the group got to talking about an interesting piece found in Johnson’s office. And it led to the internet thinking Johnson had made a massive purchase a couple of years ago. 

During the broadcast Eli Manning noticed the T-Rex skull in the background, prompting Dwayne Johnson to explain that it was “Stan”, the complete fossilized head of the dinosaur. Johnson spoke about the piece in absolutes and, in the moment, for sure gave the impression that he was the one who had purchased this fossil, to the tune of millions and millions (and millions) of dollars. But it turns out this wasn’t actually the case and the piece in Johnson’s house was actually just a replica he had made for the space. Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram to clear up the confusion and shed a little more like on the piece. 

While he didn’t do so at the moment, here in the post Dwayne Johnson works to clear up the speculation that he was the Stan mystery buyer from back in 2020. It was then that the fossil was auctioned up by Christie’s to a mystery buyer, and as Johnson mentions, it disappeared from public view. Johnson had his made as a replica of the original. This was also confirmed by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research and Paleontological Excavations. The latter was the group responsible for finding the original fossil in South Dakota in 1987 and they still own the copyright to the image and cast. This is how Dwayne Johnson was able to obtain the replica, but again, it’s not the original. 

Besides just the whopping price that Stan drummed up at auction, the speculation around Dwayne Johnson owning the original was “exciting” because it is thought to be the most perfectly preserved dinosaur skull from this time period. It has been duplicated many, many times for display in museums across the world. But again, the original is in an unknown place now with the purchaser not making its whereabouts public. Johnson mentions in the post how if he had actually purchased it he would put it on display in a museum. Alas, he didn’t pony up the cash at the time. 

Besides collecting replica dinosaur fossil heads, Dwayne Johnson is plenty busy these days. He’s coming off yet another hit movie, this one on streaming when Red Notice hit the biggest numbers ever for the platform. Along with Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, the movie is set to spin off more sequels, not a surprise considering the star power involved in the first one. And this coming summer Dwayne Johnson is set to make his comic book movie debut in the DC Extended Universe with Black Adam.