Fact Check

Is 'Long Boi' the Tallest Mallard Duck in the World?

Long Boi is definitely a long boi, but is he the longest boi?

Published Apr 29, 2021

Updated Apr 29, 2021
Image Via Instagram
A photograph shows "Long Boi," the tallest mallard duck in the world.

In April 2021, many social media users got their first glimpse of "Long Boi," a duck that lives near the campus of the University of York in England. An image of this dapper duck was widely shared on social media along with the claim that Long Boi was the tallest mallard to ever live.

This is a genuine photo of a tall duck. However, this viral caption gets a few things wrong.

For starters, and most importantly, Long Boi is not a mallard duck. This duck is an Indian Runner, a larger breed of domestic duck that was developed from the mallard. Second, this viral message claims that this is the "tallest mallard duck to have ever lived (since records began)," but there doesn't appear to be any database tracking tall mallard ducks.

This caption also claims that "Long Boi" stands at over "1m tall (3.5ft)," but that's also incorrect. According to Long Boi's Instagram page (yes, there's an Instagram page dedicated to this dapper duck), Long Boi is about 70 centimeters (about 28 inches) tall. While this is certainly tall for a mallard duck — the Audubon Society writes that a male mallard is typically about 24 inches in length — Long Boi is not a mallard duck. Compared to other Indian Runner ducks, Long Boi is average size (Indian Runners can grow as tall as 30 inches).

Although the "world's tallest duck" title has not been officially bestowed upon Long Boi by any official duck measuring entities, this dapper duck received the "Waterfowl of the Year" award in the University of Bantshire’s Waterfowl University Rankings in 2020.

Perkin Amalaraj wrote in the University of York's student newspaper York Vision:

YUSU President has pledged to name a table in The Forest, YUSU’s outdoor venue, after Longboi’s win.

He told Vision: “I am delighted that Longboi has rightfully claimed the title as Waterfowl of the Year. I would be incredibly disappointed if an honorary degree is not bestowed upon him immediately, in recognition of his contributions to the University of York”.

Longboi has long been known for his signature waddle, and has become something of a campus icon.

According to @longboiyork, the magnificent mallard stands at just over 70cm tall.

The Wanderers of York, an Instagram page dedicated to celebrating York’s campuses, told York Vision: “No duck could have deserved it more than our very own Longboi! He’s become so iconic and well known that if anyone else had won, it would have been an injustice!”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bantshire, Vince Chancelier, said that this year’s Waterfowl University Rankings was “the most secure vote in Bantshire history”.

Long Boi is not the world's tallest mallard duck because Long Boi is not a mallard duck. The reason why Long Boi looks so unusually tall is that this Indian Runner duck is frequently photographed standing next to shorter mallard ducks.


Correction [29 April 2021]: Indian Runner ducks are a breed of domestic duck developed from Mallards, not an entirely different species.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.