the hot duck

Australia’s Hot Duck Is Goth and Lives in a Sewage Pond

A tufted duck.
Hot Duck, goth edition. Photo: Micha Klootwijk/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Australia’s Hot Duck would like you to know it is not going through a phase. It just lives like this! This is its true self! It is goth. And it lives in a sewage pond.

For months, New Yorkers have delighted in the mandarin duck that has made the Central Park duck pond at 5th Avenue and 60th Street its home. That sighting resulted in the crowning of similar Hot Ducks in Canada and Brooklyn. Now, it appears that Australia has one of its own: On January 3, a tufted duck showed up at a water treatment plant in Werribee, Melbourne, according to Birdlife Australia. It apparently overshot its migration pattern, as it’s the first time one of these birds has been seen in the country; predictably, the sewage pond has seen a sudden spike in visitors who want to see the tufted duck and his decidedly goth visage: black feathers, a black mohawk, and bright yellow eyes that say “danger.”

Melbourne Water, which owns the plant, told The Guardian that a number of birds are using the Western Treatment Plant as a reprieve from the summer heat. Around five or six cars bearing bird-watchers will come on a regular day, Birdlife Australia’s Sean Dooley explained — but after the arrival of the Hot Goth Duck, that number rose to about 35 a day.

“It’s the biggest [bird-watching] event I have witnessed first-hand in Australia — it felt like I was in England,” he said.

This isn’t the first time that Australian wildlife, native or otherwise, has decided to be edgy. This is a place where people regularly compile lists of the 30 most terrifying animals in the country. No, not all of the terrifying animals, just the thirty (30!) most terrifying. So you know what? Maybe the black outfit and the intense gaze are a defense mechanism. Don’t worry about the tufted duck. He was born for this.

Australia’s Hot Duck Is Goth and Lives in a Sewage Pond