Dead Duck Day, as if you didn’t already know, is celebrated by the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam, Holland, to commemorate the day one of its researchers made an Ig Nobel prize winning discovery: the first recorded description of homosexual necrophilia in ducks.
In 1995, the new wing of the Rotterdam Museum had been erected with a facade of dark glass, and so it took some time for the local bird populations to get used to it. Until then, loud bangs and slaps against the walls generally meant a new specimen for the bird department. It was under these circumstances that after a particularly loud bang, Kees Moeliker looked down out of his office to see a dead duck… and a necrophiliac rapist duck. (Assuming the deceased duck didn’t give premortem consent of some kind.)
(This is a pretty safe assumption.)
Homosexuality and necrophilia had both been documented before in ducks, but not together. Just to make sure that the plumage of the dead duck was not wrong, Moeliker retrieved the carcass and performed an autopsy to sex the duck, revealing that it was definitely male. You can find his published report here.
Moeliker focuses the Museum’s Dead Duck Day remembrances by calling attention to the billions of birds that are killed by colliding with glass every year, and then by going to a Chinese restaurant to eat duck.
What follows is the Ig Noble video about his observation. Key Quote: “After about 75 minutes I had seen enough.”
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