Known as a child’s bath toy, rubber ducks are simply rubber stylised ducks. Usually yellow with an orange beak, they have a flat bottom and because of their lightweight can float. Highly popular in the West, the rubber duck has seen multiple incarnations over the years with many novelty versions being produced.
Developed in the 19th century the original rubber ducks were made from hard rubber and couldn’t float. Later the sculptor Peter Ganine created a lighter duck that could float selling over 50 million of them and the modern day rubber duck was formed. In recent years the rubber duck has turned up in popular culture from children’s shows to appearing in some of the best slots like Lucky Rubber Ducky.
The largest Duck
For years the largest duck record was held by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Created in 2007 it measured a massive 16.5m x 20m x 32m and weighed in at over 1300 pounds. Over the years he created a number of these ducks, most slightly smaller, which have been displayed all over the world in countries such as the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Brazil, China and Korea and the United States.
Copying the duck
Recently in Canada, a large rubber duck went on display in Toronto harbour. Taking place in the 150-year festivities in 2017, the rubber duck was over six stories high and weighed 30,000 pounds. Designed to draw visitors, the duck sat in the harbour for a number of days before being deflated, a process that takes in excess of two hours, and moved on to its next destination. Whilst not technically a Hofman creation, the design is most definitely based on his previous work (the design can actually be found online) and is now touted to be the largest rubber duck ever.
There are a plethora of other events that take place involving rubber ducks. The UK holds an annual rubber duck race featuring 1000 rubber ducks, as do Australia, the United States and Germany. They are also collectibles with one woman holding the Guinness World Record with a collection of 1439 different ducks. Let’s face it; the rubber duck is going nowhere.