Skip to main content

Murder most fowl? Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan

By CNN staff
updated 1:53 AM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
The famed yellow bird arrived in Taiwan in September. It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan, then Keelung in northern Taiwan. Eleven days after arriving in Keelung City Harbor, the duck burst. The famed yellow bird arrived in Taiwan in September. It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan, then Keelung in northern Taiwan. Eleven days after arriving in Keelung City Harbor, the duck burst.
HIDE CAPTION
Happier times
Rubber duck cometh
No bathtub in the world is big enough
24/7 cute fix
Adorable even at half-mast
New Year's Eve tragedy
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Giant rubber duck deflates 11 days after arriving in Taiwan's Keelung City Harbor
  • Locals speculate weather or birds to blame for demise of art installation by Dutch artist
  • Officials promise a new rubber duck will be installed as soon as possible

(CNN) -- A giant yellow duck on display at Taiwan's Keelung Port is finding little to be happy about this New Year's Day.

The famed 18-meter inflatable art installation, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, burst and deflated on Tuesday, leaving locals shocked and disappointed.

The duck's demise came only 11 days after it arrived in Keelung City Harbor, the latest in a multi-city Taiwan tour for the celebrity bird.

There are multiple theories as to what led to the New Year's Eve tragedy.

Murder most fowl? According to Taiwan media reports, one tourist claims she saw what looked like an eagle scratch the rubber duck with its talons.

If that's indeed the case, jealousy could very well have been the motivation behind this unprovoked attack.

Meanwhile, a meteorologist speculates an unseasonal dose of sunshine may have overheated the duck, disrupting its internal pressure after weeks of cold, rainy conditions, leading to its rupture.

"We want to apologize to the fans of the yellow rubber duck," said Keelung City Council Speaker Huang Ching-ta while addressing media.

"We haven't found the cause of the burst. We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause."

(Photos of the damaged duck can be viewed on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.)

Fortunately for fans, the city says it plans to borrow another copy of the floating art installation, due to be installed by Saturday at the earliest.

More: Giant duck conquers Taiwan

A turbulent past

Versions of the famous duck have previously taken up temporary residence in cities all over the world, including Beijing, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paolo and Amsterdam.

After stirring up a craze in Hong Kong in May and June, followed by a two-month stint in Beijing, the 18-meter inflatable duck arrived in Taiwan in September.

It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan then its recent spot in Keelung in northern Taiwan.

Tuesday's deflation is the latest in a string of unfortunate duck-related incidents.

In May of 2013, Hong Kong's version of the giant duck mysteriously lost its mojo one night, leaving its deflated yellow shell bobbing lifelessly in Victoria Harbour.

In late October, the Taoyuan version deflated then exploded during an attempt to re-inflate it.

In 2009 during a port call in Belgium, it was stabbed 42 times by a vandal.

"We don't know why the person did it," artist Hofman said in an earlier interview with CNN.

"But [the incident] brought the people of that town together. The community had a stake out at night and protected it and even the police looked after it. It shows that this piece of art means a lot to people in the vicinity of this work."

More: How the big rubber duck was born

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:17 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 9:40 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
updated 9:41 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR: In this handout illustration provided by Qatar 2022, the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee today unveiled detailed plans for the iconic Lusail Stadium. With a capacity in excess of 86,000 and surrounded by water, the stadium would host the World Cup Opening Match and Final if Qatar wins the rights to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If Qatar is awarded the honour of staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, construction of the Lusail Stadium will start in 2015 and be completed in 2019. It will retain its full capacity after 2022.
Grab a glimpse of the near future. Plans for the desert city of Lusail include man-made islands and a host arena for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
updated 4:39 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Lebanon's winemakers are adopting new tactics to get their products noticed.
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT