There is a story about Christopher Columbus and an egg. I don't know how well-known it is, but I seem to remember seeing it enacted in a movie about Columbus. In idiomatic German, the "egg of Columbus" is used as a metaphor for an amazing discovery or invention.

After a Web search on the topic, I still can't verify conclusively if it's fact or myth. Still, it's a cute little story and there's kind of a moral to it, so here goes:

Columbus was planning his legendary voyage to India that ended up getting him to America, and was trying to raise money and other support for the trip. But he was having trouble convincing people that his project had a chance of success. So by way of demonstration, he picked up an egg.

"Is it possible to set this egg down on its tip?" he asked.

"Of course not, everyone knows that!"

So he set the egg down hard on its tip, using enough force that the tip was slightly bashed in, so he was able to stand the egg up on the flattened tip.

"Oh, you mean like that? That's easy!"

"Yes, " he replied, "it's easy once you know about it. It's a little harder to trust in something that hasn't been discovered yet."