(CNN) — What could possibly draw 500,000 spectators to a Taiwan harbor front in the midst of typhoon Usagi threats?
A giant inflatable rubber duck, of course.
After stirring up a duck craze in Hong Kong in May and June, the 18-meter inflatable duck created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman arrived at Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan last Thursday.
Some 500,000 people showed up to see the duck within five days, including on Saturday, when officials suspended the exhibition due to the expected arrival of Usagi.
“When we found out the rubber duck was coming to Hong Kong this year, we sent Hofman photos of Kaohsiung City and our mayor sent him a letter,” said Zeno Lai, director general of the Kaohsiung Government Information Bureau and also the event’s spokesperson.
“By the time we met Hofman in Hong Kong in June, he said more than 300 cities had contacted him for the next exhibition, including more than 20 cities in Taiwan,” said Lai.
The duck, which had to be assembled in Taiwan rather than floated all the way there or flown, is inflated by a new air pump made by the Kaohsiung event team.
“The rubber duck usually takes more than an hour to be inflated,” said Lai. “But in Kaohsiung, it only takes seven minutes.”
The team has promised to pass on its new techniques and any lessons learned to other Taiwanese cities set to receive the duck.
The yellow bird will be docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan and Keelung in northern Taiwan (that’s apparently not too far for a big duck to float) later this year.
I actually went to take a few pictures of Rubber Duck in Hong Kong for my dear brother. He couldn’t go see it while staying here for my wedding in mid-May. I wonder what Chinese title will be given to the translated report of this CNN article. “高雄黃色小鴨旋風席捲CNN”, maybe? XD~ News titles in Taiwan are always fun to see~