Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Meet "Long Boi," a very tall duck and the University Of York's unofficial mascot

A duck that isn’t Long Boi, pictured in an act of overcompensation fueled by its desire to be Long Boi.
A duck that isn’t Long Boi, pictured in an act of overcompensation fueled by its desire to be Long Boi.
Photo: Ben Stansall (Getty Images)

Where to begin with Long Boi, the University Of York’s beloved giant duck? Is it the speculation, encouraged by Reddit but refuted by other accounts, that the Mallard/Indian Runner duck hybrid stands at a monstrous three-and-a-half-feet tall? (He’s actually a little more than 70 centimetres or just over two feet tall.) Is it that the enormous duck is soon to receive an honorary degree? Or is it just that when you look at a picture of the Boi standing on two webbed feet like the lord of his very own stinky pond-side manor, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of well-being inspired by the mere fact of the bird’s existence?

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A bit of background: Long Boi is, according to a study of him by one of his many admirers, “a duck residing on [University Of York’s] Campus West” that is “beloved by all, from students and staff to visitors of the University.” Because of his Indian Runner duck blood, Long Boi “[stands] tall, with an erect posture” and runs around instead of waddling. He’s such a striking bird that when his fellow students hear, for example, that he’s won a nation-wide university duck popularity contest or will soon receive a degree without attending a single class, they provide campus reporters with statements like, “this award was a long time coming, I’m chuffed for the lad.”

Further evidence of Long Boi’s popularity is available through the dude’s merch shop, which sells t-shirts, stickers, water bottles, notebooks, and pins declaring the wearer a member of the “Long Boi Fan Club.” He also has an Instagram account, which may indulge a bit too freely in the “heckin’ pupper” brand of internet speak—to be fair, his name is “Long Boi”—but is also the finest repository of Long Boi media on the internet. Browse through the collection of his images and videos to bask in the sheer power of the creature’s presence. Pull them up on your phone to show local ducks what a real king looks like. Hail Long Boi, currently the world’s most accomplished waterfowl. Long may he reign.

[via Dick King-Smith]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.