How can a country stimulate its economy? Some might create new jobs or encourage citizens to spend. Taiwan has decided to drum up some interest in one of its cities by placing a massive rubber duck in its harbor.
If you think that a giant inflatable rubber ducky is a silly way to bring in some extra money, think again. The 59 foot, 2,205 pound yellow duck was met by 200,000 eager onlookers at the shores of Kaohsiung’s harbor last week to welcome the custom inflatable. However, 24 hours later the larger than life rubber duck was gone.
The duck didn’t float away or deflate, it “swam” back to its coop to avoid being damaged by Typhoon Usagi. Two days later the duck resurfaced, with 100,000 spectators waiting to welcome it back. The inflatable creation is the brainchild of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. There have been other versions of the same inflatable duck in Hong Kong and Beijing before this one made Taiwan its home.
Taiwan officials are estimating that their giant bathtub buddy will attract more than 3 million visitors to Kaohsuing and generate over $30 million for local businesses in the process. While this may seem like a very unorthodox and somewhat crazy way to bring in more money, over a half a million people came to see the duck in the first three days. Hofman has also said recently that over 300 other cities have contacted him about bringing the big yellow ducky to their harbors.