Alienated duck

This is an X-ray of a sick duck with something unusual in its gut.


Aaaaah! It’s an alien! Or a demon! Or a run-of-the-mill instance of apophenia. The bird rescue center that discovered it is playing it up as an alien for PR purposes (hey, it’s California), but we know better, right?


  1. Matt says

    Don’t you mean that this is an instance of pareidolia?

    (I’m fuzzy on the distinction between these terms. I also don’t know if I’m pronouncing “pareidolia” correctly.)

  2. PaulC says

    From the article:

    Still, it is hard to deny the clarity of the alien image.

    Oh, nonsense. It’s not even bilaterally symmetric. The left “eye” (its left) is up higher than the right one and not even the same shape.

    The poor duck. Whatever was wrong with it looks pretty painful, and I don’t think we ought to be making jokes about its sad demise.

  3. PaulC says

    I looked at this a little more closely in an image editor. It’s a bit more symmetric than I thought, provided you ignore the lower part of the right “eye.” Regardless, it’s easily explained by coincidence, and I think this picture ought to elicit our sympathy instead of stale comments about “aliens.”

  4. Apikoros says

    Does anyone out there have an X-ray of a normal duck’s gut, for the sake of comparison?

    Also, in the images at the sfgate site, I could not see where this duck’s wing was broken. Did someone switch ducks? Or is this an example of alien healing powers?

  5. T_U_T says

    Oh no ! The Intelligent Deceiver has apparently started experimenting with redesigning bird flu to an irreducibly complex chest-bursting alien !
    Remember what happened when he added an outboard motor to yersinia pestis bacterium…

  6. PaulC says

    One more comment and I’m off this thread. Rereading the paragraph I cited, I find parallels to Kent Brockman’s standards of reporting in the oft-quoted Simpson’s episode:


    It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive Earthmen or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here.


    Still, it is hard to deny the clarity of the alien image. No long fingers can be seen, but the face certainly has prominent brows, a small button nose that is slightly askew and a scary grimace.

    I guess I should be relieved that the reporter did not welcome our new duck-parasite overlords.

    The only thing I feel certain about is that this was not a healthy duck.

  7. Left_Wing_Fox says

    I was kind of expecting a Babylon 5 reference.

    “What is the name of those earth creatures? Feathers, long bill… goes ‘Quack’.”
    “Cats… It’s like being nibbled to death by cats.”

  8. says

    Doesn’t anyone else think the image bears a striking resemblance to Our Lord And Savior, Jesus?! It is clearly a sign. These x-rays could fetch a FORTUNE on ebay.

  9. Rey Fox says

    How crazy. I didn’t even notice the alien face at first, I noticed the circle underneath the face at the lower point of the mass, looks sort of like a bird head and neck seen from the side, I thought that they had found another one of those “fetus in fetus” cases, only in a duck.

  10. mathpants says

    you say “apophenia”, I say “apo-OHMYGODITSTHEVIRGINMARY”

    Let’s call the whole thing off . . .

  11. Carlie says

    Wouldn’t it suck to come all this way and then be eaten by a mallard? Not even something cool like a 15-foot crocodile, but a duck? For shame, aliens. For shame.

  12. MikeM says

    Unusual characteristics are commonly on display among male mallards during the spring mating season, according to Travers. Their testicles, for instance, grow to three times the size of their brains…

    What’s so unusual about that??

  13. says

    My first thougt was that the duck ate a alien-face pendant, because the white string below it made me think of a necklace…

  14. Bruce Beckman says

    Apikoros: “Also, in the images at the sfgate site, I could not see where this duck’s wing was broken. Did someone switch ducks? Or is this an example of alien healing powers?”

    I don’t see any fractures either but the radiographs show the duck has a dislocated left shoulder (right side of image). I guess you could say it’s ‘broken’ as in ‘not working’.

  15. dp says

    Call me a spoil sport, but the object looks to me like it is the foil seal off an oval-shaped cream cheese or sour cream container. Does anyone else see this or is my brain so clouded with reason that I can’t visualise the truth? :P
    The foil is folded over and the tab is what appears to look like a nose. The size seems to be about right.

  16. Dark Wing says

    Did anyone ever think about going inside the thing to see what it really is. I mean really Theres a 50% chace it’s the human mind playing tricks on us, 25% it could really be something normal like an orange in side of it.(I have a heart shaped orange in my fridge :3… )Or it could really be something out of the ordinary… Your not going to get abducted or anything if you tried to find out what it was.


  17. GigasGate says

    Looks to me like a child’s toy keychain with a plastic lanyard clip attachment instead of the usual metal one… and it could easily be an alien head keychain.

  18. loser101 says

    thank you for proving aliens are real!!!
    it has changed my life 4eva!!!
    my duck eats aliens all the time to!!
    maybe we can have a party to kill all the aliens with our ducks

  19. kim from darwin i go to csc an im in year 10 in 2007 says

    news to tell you guys
    i had an x-ray taken yesterday
    an they found two aliens in my
    stomach if you want to buy my x-ray
    of ebay you can
    its US$1,000,000

  20. ERIK says

    OK WOW that is not a alien it can be alot of things it can be and wtf whats the points of an xray for 1000$ u must be trying to just get some money…

  21. Genie says

    Clearly this maligned mallard has masticated a mutilated mis-creant! Be it medicinal or metastatic, the mirage is magnificent.

  22. spurge says

    People who see an alien in an X-ray are getting “geeky over nothing”.

    The fine people here are just making fun of them.

  23. XD says

    Yeah, er, sorry to burst your bubble here but think really hard about this.

    If aliens really are this super-intelligent, why bother coming to earth when they probably have a more advanced sattelite thing happening to watch us?

    And, if they DO decide to come to earth, why only show themselves to rednecks, bogans or people who live in the desert or have corn fields?

    And then, WHY THE HELL DO THEY WANNA PROBE A DUCK? Of all animals, a DUCK!?

    And if it really is some epiphany thing from God, does that mean God was sitting on his cloud, and got kinda bored. So he just thought to himself, “I know, im going to put jesus’/mary’s face on the inside of a DUCK!

    I feel sorry for the duck. That must hurt.