Tomorrow is Dead Duck Day

evil duck.jpg

First, there was that duck penis video and the related news that duck life is so full of rape that female ducks have evolved corkscrew vaginas replete with dead ends.

Now this.

Marc Abrahams of the IgNobel awards wrote today to inform me that tomorrow is Dead Duck Day, an annual event celebrated at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. What, pray tell, does Dead Duck Day celebrate? Marc says:

It's the anniversary of the first known observation of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.

I seriously can't even look at ducks anymore.

Anyway, this observation won museum curator Kees Moeliker an IgNobel back in 2003. Since then, he's commemorated the sacrifice made by the poor duck in question with what is variously described as a memorial service or re-enactment (?!)—followed by an all-duck dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Ducks: Basically the John Wayne Gacy of the animal kingdom. Image courtesy Flickr user hvargas, via CC


  1. I used to love my quiet neighborhood on a creek surrounded by ducks and mergansers. Now I just feel like I’m trapped in an area of town where there are zombie clown rapists lurking around every corner.

    The only thing that makes up for how creepy and disgusting ducks are is that they are really tasty.

    1. You have almost exactly described my life/feelings.

      When I walk along the creek, I just feel all their little beady eyes on me.

    1. Kinda makes you think about the implications of all those freshly lubed-up duck corpses though, eh?

  2. My mom and dad were huge fans of feeding ducks at ponds, lakes, or even those that would land in our backyard pool when they were migrating. Something more to like about our feathered friends.

    This also explains Daffy Duck.

  3. lol, I remember reading that paper when they got the IgNobel.. First a duck flew into their window and died. Then another duck showed up.. looked around with a guilty expression, and when confident nobody was looking, proceeded to hump the dead bird.

    Unbeknownst to the perpetrator though, they could see him through the mirror-like window and got it all on film!

    1. According to the journal article summary, the dead drake died while attempting to flee from the second male’s rapacious advances.

      “It is concluded that the mallards were engaged in an ‘Attempted Rape Flight’ that resulted in the first described case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard.”

      Captcha: “entrap of”

  4. i think this is an appropriate moment to bring up garfunkel and oates’ youtube sensation sex with ducks:

  5. I was walking along the Tidal Basin in DC during the Cherry Blossom festival and witnessed three mallards attacking a female duck. Rape indeed.

  6. Conversely, female mallards are loving, careful and above all philanthropic mothers. They will take over care of one another’s babies, guard nests for each other, babysit, and adopt orphans. It’s not unusual at all to see one mallard female with a dozen or more ducklings attendant on her; sometimes you can even see the other mothers arrive and take their own ducklings home.

    I observed this over the course of 15 years living beside Pismo Creek in Central California. Since I saw very similar behaviour exhibited by the human tourists and residents (called the cops when an unconscious young male was being gang-raped on the sidewalk), my conclusion is that the problem is not species related. It’s gender-related. Mallards are one of those rare avian species with an, um, intromittent organ. Apparently the possession of such deranges the owner.

    Nonetheless, I like ducks. I like humans. But some of the males of both species are real jerks.

    1. Of course it’s gender related. Trying to ape something with a vagina is like trying to stab someone with a soup bowl. Trust me, it’s a good thing females can’t rape easily. I’ve seen conflicts between both genders and given the sheer brutality of female combat, it’s a godsend that females aren’t built with male strength and rapey parts.

    2. Having a penis certainly makes rape easier but the prevalence of such varies a lot by species. I don’t think there are any documented cases of Panda rape, for example.

      1. “I don’t think there are any documented cases of Panda rape, for example.”

        I just raped like, 3 pandas the other day, I thought everyone noticed… OH you mean… nevermind.

  7. I read that article and thought how it was the usual human-centric attitude that people so often have. Ducks got this far, evolution-wise, without our “superior” values.

    Oh, no. We can only like them if they have the same morals as people. Bullsh*t. They don’t have a society. They just are. It isn’t rape; that’s a concept that comes with human society and morals. You wouldn’t like to be treated that way – but you wouldn’t feel the way a woman does, if you were a duck. I know; it’s all about how women feel. But, it just isn’t the same thing to a duck. For the duck, it isn’t all about how you feel. It doesn’t have our filters for interpreting reality, so its reality is entirely different. Annoying, huh?

    Me, I still think they’re really cute.

  8. Elaine: I loooove The Drake!
    lewis: i hate the drake!
    Jerry: How could you not like The Drake?
    George Costanza: Who’s The Drake?
    Elaine: Who’s The Drake!
    Jerry: The Drake is good.
    Jerry: You don’t like the Drake?
    lewis: i hate the drake, jerry! hate the drake!

  9. Anyone familiar with the work of Stewart Lee? He does a wonderful piece on “March of the Penguins” being essentially christian propaganda because they mate for life, blah blah blah.

    He goes on to state that looking to nature for such wisdom isn’t always reasonable…what if the documentary was March of the Mallard Duck?

    “Look at that cute little mallard, raping that dead little mallard…in a dance as ooooooold as time.”

    Recommended work from one of the best comedians around.

    1. He does a wonderful piece on “March of the Penguins” being essentially christian propaganda because they mate for life, blah blah blah.

      I’m sure that notion serves the comedy bit but it’s not in the movie. I distinctly remember Morgan Freeman’s fatherly voice explaining that penguins mate for a season at a time, after which all bets are off.

      Many people DO still claim that eagles mate for life, though a closer look reveals that infidelity and “divorces” are about as common with them as in human society.

  10. I have been the unfortunate recipient of a (how to put this delicately?) splash of mallard ejaculate as I was innocently walking under the flight path of one of these rapist ducks. I have also seen male ducks perch on rooftops and church steeples in an attempt to get the jump on an unsuspecting female. Adding necrophilia to their list of crimes has just dropped the mallard to my second least favourite animal – right above coelacanth. (They’re just creepy – I don’t trust them.)

  11. I once came across three mallard males gang-raping a single female. They were surrounded by children who thought the ducks were fighting.

    Oh the innocence of youth. I wisely kept my mouth shut as to what was actually going on.

  12. “I have been the unfortunate recipient of a (how to put this delicately?) splash of mallard ejaculate as I was innocently walking under the flight path of one of these rapist ducks.”

    Buquackkie??? Ewww….

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