Science TEDTalks

How a dead duck changed the TED audience’s life

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May
Kees Moeliker proudly displays a dead mallard at TED. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Kees Moeliker proudly displays a dead mallard at TED. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Kees Moeliker: How a dead duck changed my lifeKees Moeliker: How a dead duck changed my lifeIn the days leading up to TED2013, we at the TED Blog revealed the best props at TEDs past and showed you the speakers who’d brought animals on stage with them. Little did we know that, on the day two of the conference, we’d meet a speaker who’d combine both.

In today’s talk, given at TED2013, Kees Moeliker illuminates how finding a dead duck one summer day changed the course of his professional life. It’s an incredible, hilarious and unexpected story. And to highlight the importance of said duck, Moeliker physically brought it on stage with him. Dead for nearly eighteen years (Moeliker found this duck outside of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, where he works, in 1995 and had him stuffed for posterity), Moeliker took the taxidermied duck out of a plastic bag and passed it to a brave audience member.

Below, see the hilarity that ensued as this odd artifact made the rounds.

Kees-Moeliker-at-TED2013-2

An audience member cradles the dead duck. While some in the audience appear disturbed, others glow. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Richard Turere, who gave the talk "My invention that made peace with lions," cracks up at this surprising talk.

Richard Turere, who gave the talk “My invention that made peace with lions,” cracks up at this surprising talk.

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