C is for the Cookie Monster rock that’s getting all the likes

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2021-02-04 17:32

Images of blue stone get shared around the world

Have you ever wondered why certain photos go viral?
CBC Kids News decided to dig a little deeper to find out how it happened.

When Mike Bowers posted a video of a rock that looks weirdly similar to Cookie Monster from Sesame Street on Facebook, he was expecting to get only 100 likes, at best. 

Instead, an image of that rock was retweeted by Cookie Monster’s official Twitter account.

That post was liked more than 600,000 times and retweeted more than 90,000 times by people all over the world.

Tweet from Cookie Monster says Me no geologist, but me think dat rock look a lot like me...

What kind of rock is it?

Bowers, who is a precious stone collector based in California, said the rock was discovered in Brazil in November 2020.

It’s an agate, which is a type of semi-precious stone that formed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Could it be fake?

Agates can be dyed different colours, said Philippe Belley, an assistant professor in the department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

But this one “looks natural,” he said, because of the pastel colours and the thin white line along the edge.

Agates can sometimes include ball-like structures or empty sections similar to Cookie Monster’s eyes and mouth, Belley said.

Agates can be found in Canada, mostly in Nova Scotia, Ontario and B.C., which is where this one was found. (Image credit: Philippe Belley)

A Jan. 26 post on the fact-checking website Snopes.com agreed with Belley’s assessment that the Cookie Monster rock is real.

Even Bowers said he understands why people are skeptical. “It seems impossible,” he said.

“But there’s one thing I’ve learned in the world of geology and gemology: Never say never.”

C is for ‘crazy’

How did it feel to go viral? “It was crazy,” Bowers told CBC Kids News.

He said his phone would not stop ringing during those first few days — and nights.

“There’s one thing I’ve learned: I don’t want to be famous,” Bowers said. “It’s a nightmare.”

Two halves of the agate opened up so you can see what looks like Cookie Monster's face.

Mike Bowers shared images of his Cookie Monster rock in January after recovering from COVID-19. ‘I needed a smile,’ he told CBC Kids News. (Image credit: Kennedy News and Media Limited)

Where’s the rock now?

Despite lots of offers from people who want to buy the rock — for hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases — Bowers said he isn’t selling right now.

“It’s not always about money,” he said.

Bowers said he hopes to donate the rock to a museum one day so that it’s accessible to all. “Imagine kids seeing that.”

He said he hopes the Cookie Monster agate will inspire the next generation of rock collectors.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Kathy Willens/The Associated Press, Kennedy News and Media Limited

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