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Meet Long Boi, the humongous duck that's taken over the internet

His Instagram following is nothing to cluck at.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read

Say hello to Long Boi. He's a duck, and he's long. So long he has his own Instagram account, where more than 17,000 followers can watch him stroll, chill and just generally revel in his own longness. "Feeling heckin' löngthy," reads one caption.  

Long Boi has taken up residence near the campus of the UK's University of York, where he's become something of a celebrity. He even has his own merch, including T-shirts, magnets and notebooks bearing his lengthy image. 

If you hadn't heard of Long Boi before this week, there's a good chance you've seen him waddling around social media in the last 24 hours. A Redditor posted about the dapper duck, and Dick King-Smith, a children's author who often writes about animals, tweeted a photo of him that's been widely retweeted. In response to Long Boi's Twitter appearance, others have shared their own tall-duck photos and joked about Long Boi's origin story. One Twitter user even Photoshopped Long Boi into Georges Seurat's famous Impressionist painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, where the big bird looks quite at home. 

But while Long Boi's most recent round of PR dubs him a mallard who stands over 3 feet (a meter), Snopes notes that not all information circulating about the duck is correct. For one, he's not a mallard, the fact-checking site says, but a cross between a mallard and an Indian Runner, a larger duck species that can grow as long as 2.5 feet (about three-quarters of a meter).   

Given that he's a member of a tall species, Long Boi likely isn't the world's largest duck, as some have called him, but he's still a "huge-ass duck," in the immortal words of my CNET colleague Daniel Golson. 

But the handsome boi deserves attention for more than just his looks. 

"Long Boi will receive his honorary degree to thank him for his services to the university at this year's graduation ceremonies where he will officially become Long Boi Ph.D.," the University of York says.   

Beyond a cursory "quack," the BDOC (big duck on campus) was too busy to respond to a request for comment.