The world’s favorite giant rubber duck was reported to have burst while making its stop at Taoyuan, Taiwan. The cause of this unfortunate accident is, it seems, a case of failure to adapt to its new surroundings.
The well-travelled yellow duck created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, by now a globally famous inflatable art piece, waded into Taoyuan to participate in a local arts festival that was open to the public from 26 October. The 25 meter-tall, 18 meter-wide giant duck is of the same size as its counterpart that was exhibited in Kaohsiung some weeks ago, but it had to undergo alterations, getting over a hundred thickened PVC pieces sewn on internally in order to “adapt” to the event location which was close to the sea. Even during the inflation test runs before the actual event, the massive artifact had already shown difficulties getting blown up due to the strong winds.
▼ Having trouble with inflation on 22 October.
But it seems this adorable ducky was determined to please the crowds. The event crew managed to inflate the exhibit in time for the festival, and the cute giant proudly stood in the waters as thousands of visitors got busy snapping pictures.
▼ “Hello, folks of Taoyuan!”
Unfortunately, more trouble was waiting ahead. A couple of days into the festival, the air pumps that were responsible for keeping the duck filled with air started showing signs of malfunction. To make things worse, an earthquake hit Taiwan on 31 October, and the electrical pumps suffered damages from the impact of the quake, breaking down. Losing its air supply, the bright yellow artifact started deflating, and had lost about half its air within a night. On 1 November, the crew attempted resuscitation first thing in the morning but after approximately two hours of pumping, tragedy befell and the well-loved duck burst due to an imbalance in air pressure internally and externally.
▼ Poor ducky reduced to a yellow deflated mass.
Everyone’s mood must have deflated along with the cheerful bath time toy, but the festival still goes on. Officials are considering calling for help from the rubber duck’s twin in Kaohsiung to see this festival through until its closing on 10 November.
▼ The happy duck on the first day of the festival.