January 13, 2011: official “Rubber Duckie Day.”
In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share some special facts about Rubber Duckies.
1. The “Rubber Duckie” Song was made famous by Ernie of Sesame Street. (Statistically, I’m guessing that 35% of residents of the United States between the ages of 35 and 50 know the words to at least one verse.)
2. According to the Boston Pops Orchestra, a rubber duckie is a percussion instrument. (No lie, check the link above.)
3. When a British tabloid claimed Queen Elizabeth had a rubber duckie in her bathroom (a duck with a crown, no less), U.K. sales of the bathtime companions rose by 80%
4. The Guinness World Record for “largest collection of rubber ducks” is currently held by Charlotte Lee of the United States. As of February 2010, Ms. Lee owned 5,249 different duckies. (And apparently a very large bathtub.)
5. The Great Tennessee Valley Rubber Duck Race is an annual competition which awards prizes to the fastest-floating rubber ducks on the river. (For those of you who find this odd…this is but one of many annual rubber-duck regattas held around the USA. For those of you outside the USA who find this odd…the British and the Aussies do it too.)
6. In 1992, shipping containers holding Friendly Floatees bath toys en route from China to North America washed overboard somewhere in the North Pacific. Approximately 29,000 children’s bath toys (including a large number of rubber ducks) were released escaped into the ocean. Ten months later, the ducks began washing ashore on the coast of Alaska. Oceanographers used the ducks to measure ocean currents, and estimate that a large number of bouncing bathtoys are currently frozen in Arctic pack ice, circling the pole in a neverending search for balmy bubbles. (All of which quacks me up.)
Did you have a rubber duckie as a child? Let me know in the comments, and have a duckie day!