Skip to main content

Murder most fowl? Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan

By CNN staff
January 1, 2014 -- Updated 0653 GMT (1453 HKT)
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
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 0250 GMT (1050 HKT)
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1932 GMT (0332 HKT)
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT)
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
The cover of Norway's new passport design
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0525 GMT (1325 HKT)
Properties in the Italian village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio have been converted into a high end hotel spread through the village.
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0521 GMT (1321 HKT)
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples
ADVERTISEMENT