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Horse-Sized Duck refers to a hypothetical query that asks whether 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck would be victorious in battle, or which of the two options the respondent would prefer to fight.
The city design blog City of Sound published a post titled “Duck-sized horses” on October 9th, 2003, which featured a photograph from a newspaper asking “who would be victorious in a fight between 100 duck-sized horses and one horse-sized duck” (shown below).
On October 12th, 2003, Trance Addict Forums member Harry submitted a post titled “Who would win in a fight – a horse sized duck, or 100 duck sized horses?”, which received 54 responses within the next month. On August 4th, 2006, Yahoo Answers user Robert S asked the same question, to which user comradelouise argued that the 100 duck-sized horses would be victorious. On November 23rd, 2007, Comic Book Resources Forum member Nik Hasta submitted a thread titled “One Horse-Sized Duck vs. 100 Duck-Sized Horses!”, which received 29 replies within the next 24 hours. On July 15th, 2010, YouTuber JoshRocksGuitarHero uploaded a video titled “The Horse Sized Duck,” revealing he would rather fight a horse-sized duck (shown below).
On June 15th, 2012, player Johannah on the Internet drawing game Drawception submitted a drawing request titled “1 horsesized duck vs 10 ducksized horses,” although the request largely went unnoticed. On November 16th, the equestrian news blog Horse Nation published a post inviting readers to vote on which of the two options they would prefer to fight. On November 28th, Yahoo News published an article titled “NYU Student Replies-all to 40,000 Classmates, sparking ‘Replyallcalypse’,” which reported that one student sent an email asking “Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or 1 horse sized duck?” As of December 10th, 2012, there are seven Facebook pages containing the keyword “horse-sized duck” or “duck-sized horse.”
In 2012, the query became a popular inside joke question to use in “ask me anything” posts on the social networking site Reddit. On August 29th, Redditor Reaverax submitted the question “Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck” in President Barack Obama’s post in the /r/IAmA subreddit, which received over 1,100 up votes within the next three months. On September 24th, Redditor supahappyfuntime asked the same question to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in his post on /r/IAmA. On the following day, the Atlantic published an article titled “Where the Obsession with Horse-Sized Ducks Came From,” which cited the City of Sound blog post as the origin of the meme. On November 9th, Redditor Jello_Eater submitted an image macro featuring a picture of science educator Bill Nye captioned with a seamlessly logical response to the hypothetical question (shown below). Within one month, the post received over 6,400 up votes and 220 comments.
Atlantic Wire – Where the Obsession with Horse-Sized Ducks Came From