"Long Boi" of York is part Indian Runner duck, like this beautiful bird.
  • A photo of an extremely long duck named "Long Boi" went viral on Twitter on Thursday.
  • While the post contained some false information, people online were obsessed with the duck.
  • The duck is a local icon at the University of York and has his own Instagram fan page.
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On Thursday, a tribute account for English children's book author Dick King-Smith tweeted a photo of a very long duck. And while some claims in the tweet, which quickly went viral, turned out to be false, the love for "Long Boi," a resident of the University of York's campus in the United Kingdom, is extremely real.

The viral tweet showed an image of Long Boi, a stunning duck who has a dedicated following at the University of York. He's beautiful and has an incredibly long neck. Between the perspective of the photo and Long Boi's upright posture, he looks absolutely massive compared to every other bird visible in the photo.

The tweet, which went viral on Thursday and had over 190,000 likes as of Friday morning, claimed that Long Boi stands at over a meter tall and is "the tallest mallard duck to have ever lived (since records began)," appearing to quote a post made on the r/interestingasfuck subreddit.

A Snopes fact check of the post debunked some of those claims: Long Boi isn't actually a full mallard duck, nor the tallest ever to have lived. According to an Instagram fan page for the duck, he's a cross between a mallard and an Indian runner duck (a taller variety), and measures only 70 cm (approximately 27 and a half inches) tall - not quite the meter that the post claims.

A post shared by Long boi (@longboiyork)

But before Long Boi went viral, he was already a beloved University of York icon.

@longboiyork, the fan page, is an Instagram account dedicated to sharing photos and news about Long Boi run by two biology students at the university, BuzzFeed News reported. He's become "quite famous just on campus," the duo told BuzzFeed News. That local fame and adoration helped propel Long Boi to victory in a poll run by a satirical blog that ranked various waterfowl at different UK universities.

The students who run @longboiyork told HuffPost that the duck appeared on campus several years ago and that they believed he was an abandoned pet. The students remained anonymous because "long boi is truly the star of the show," they said, according to HuffPost. After they started feeding him, Long Boi apparently "flourished" and now loves to be fed by visitors: The university stocks bird seed for the waterfowl around campus, the students said.

The account's first post dates back to spring 2019, nearly two years ago, and in the time since the account has amassed a following of over 16,000. It's full of photos, videos, fan art, and memes of Long Boi galore.

A post shared by Long boi (@longboiyork)

Now, the rest of the world is in on the Long Boi meme game as well. After Thursday's tweet about the duck went viral, "Long Boi" began trending on Twitter.

At the end of the day, Long Boi may not be the record-setting, meter-tall behemoth that the viral tweet claimed. But for a beloved local icon, he's certainly managed to make a splash on the international stage.

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