Which is more "ALIVE", an egg or a sperm?

Sure. Women have always been “the vessels” of life or the “bringers/carriers of life” and the whole gestation thing for 9 months, but lets talk facts. Both male and female of our species create living cells within our bodies, red-blood, T’s, whites etc., and some kind of worm that lives at the base of our eyelashes.

But when we come down to the chromosomes and their method of travel and intent, does mobility mean more “Alive” than immobile?

From what I understand, the egg is a “living” organsim, I think it “eats” as it rolls down through the Fallopian(sp)-tubes, but has no compuncture or motivation to get “somewhere” as fast as it can.

Sperms are shaken-about and stirred, and cooked up in a batch of sugar in the testies, and somehow everyone of them know what they are there for. Upon “deployment” the sperm soldiers take off, without a map, and swim upstream like salmon, or “weener dogs” racing with smiles on their faces.

It can’t be as simple as the Sperm and Egg are essentially the same, except eggs can’t swim like a sea-otter, gettin’ all frolicky and smart-assy. Sperms have smiles. Sperms know where they are going. "

So which one is more “alive”? A simple one-cell thing with chromosomes, that sits around, acting like a huge bulls-eye, or a simple one-cell thing with chromosomes that acts like micheal phelps/angus young/chuck yeager/admiral bird?

Eggs live longer than sperms, I think, but they live at home.

If you think about it, if sperms lacked their flagella, or ability to swim, the act of copulation would result in a deposit of fluid in the “place where the egg is at”, and since the egg is rolling downhill without direction, it will land in the “tailess chromosomal-fuild” like a fly on flypaper, sooner or later.

Is there a “message”, inside the brain of the egg, that says: “Hold Position” in the same way a sperm is programmed to “slam at everything in sight”?

I relate to the desire, ability, and “instinct” to race upstream, with a smile on my face like a weenerdog.


Actually, if sperm couldn’t swim, it would be near impossible for conception to occur. Sperm join the egg right up near or in the fallopian tubes (hence the occurrence of ectopic pregnancies, where implantation happens in the tubes). If the egg gets past the end of the tubes without being fertilized, it starts to die. Eggs, once they burst from the follicle (home) live for about 12 hours. It takes almost that long to get to the end of the fallopian tubes.

Otherwise, I guess if I had to pick one, I would say sperm. They are active, and I guess to me, activity means more ‘alive’.

I don’t think activity means alive. Mousetraps and sodium and dust devils are dead dead dead.

Eggs and sperm have the same programming capacity, but an egg has much more living tissue. Also, the fertile humans that create eggs put a month’s worth of creation into each one, whereas the fertile humans that create sperm are generating them at an average rate something like 10,000 per second.

On average, eggs must have something like a half percent chance of getting to add a hundred or two hundred pounds and walk around for the better part of a century, and something like a quarter percent chance of suckling their own half-copies. Sperm, on the other hand, get something a bit over one chance in 10,000,000,000,000 to walk around and cruise the web.

So, I go with the egg.

Actually, even if they don’t have much of a future, in other species eggs make much more substantial and lifegiving of a meal, too.

Sperm are more active. They do more than just seek out eggs I’ve read; some of them form themselves into tangles in order to block any potential sperm from a later man. And others are hunter-killers that cruise around “looking” for any sperm from another man and attack them ( boring in to kill them, rather like they would with the egg but for the opposite purpose ).

But I’d call the egg “more alive” for the simple reason that there’s so much more of it.

I vote for egg. It comes with more stuff, whereas sperm is stuff with more cum.

Nothing is nearly so alive as those eyelash worms. It’s hardly worth arguing about second place.

The egg doesn’t just sit there passively. It draws the sperm towards it and sucks in the sperm that is chosen for the fateful task. It also repels other sperm that it doesn’t want for whatever reason. The traditional view of the sperm as active and seeking to penetrate a docile, passive egg is not based on science, but based on gendered notions of how each gender should behave. Emily Martin wrote an excellent paper on this subject.


Just after I posted, I found a better link:

Thus changing the image of the egg from passive object of the seeking sperm, to a Lovecraftian horror that calls the sperm in with a chemical siren song, latches on to them and sucks them down. :smiley:

Sperm: “It’s got me! It’s got me! AIEEEE!!!”




Well, which one is more likely to be able to create life on its own?
I’m gonna go with the Eggon this one.
Until the sperm start turning into little creatures on their own in some animals, the Egg will win hands down.

Who the hell taught you guys this crap? The Stork is more alive.

Egg on your face - minor embarrassment.

Sperm on your face - well, that depends on the individual but I know I wouldn’t like it.

I’m going with the sperm. The egg just has to lie back and get screwed, and it doesn’t even have to think of England.

Well the egg certainly wins for size. Slide the bar at the bottom of this picture for an idea of relative size.


My, what a big eggg you have, Gasp!
Still, it’s mostly cytoplasm… the majority water molecules.

Dammit. I KNEW that I shouldn’t have Googled eyelash worms. I knew it but I did it anyway.


This question seems pretty meaningless to me. It reminds me of Steven Hawking’s anecdote, when asked 'What came before the Big Bang?" he responded with an analogy ‘What is South of the South Pole?’ Each of these questions is pretty devoid of meaning. Neither egg nor sperm are ‘alive’ in any sense because they cannot perpetuate themselves independently into a new egg or sperm.

Neither can red blood cells. Or a sterile person or animal for that matter. Reproduction is a common feature of life, but not the defining one.

Carriers, yes. Bringers, not so much, at least before people figured out that men didn’t just put babies into women’s wombs for them to incubate. Not sure if this was a universal assumption, though.

Is it the only cell from the human body that can be seen with a naked eye? I was taught in bio that it’s about this big: .

I still have to go with sperm seeming more alive, though. It’s the wriggling.