Shoebill Stork

Shoebill Stork

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Updated Apr 11, 2017 at 10:20PM EDT by Don.

Added Apr 11, 2017 at 02:25PM EDT by Don.

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Shoebill Storks (Balaeniceps rex) are a species of bird known for their tall height (up to 5 feet) and wide-set bills. Online, shoebills are often discussed for their bizarre appearance and behavior.


One of the earliest known online discussions about the bird's strange appearance was launched in a Democratic Underground Forums[4] thread titled "Behold! It's the ugly ass shoebilled stork thread!" submitted by user Guy Fawkes on March 16th, 2006 (shown below).

Guy Fawkes大(1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile l Ignore BEHOLD! It's the UGLY ASS SHOEBILLED STORK thread!!!


On March 27th, 2014, Redditor tricky3737 uploaded a GIF of shoebill turning to look at a camera titled "What the fuck did you say to me?" (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received more than 2,500 points (91% upvoted) and 300 comments on /r/funny.[6]


On May 10th, 2015, YouTuber Ben Wright uploaded footage of a shoebill bowing with a man as a display of dominance (shown below, left). On March 2nd, 2016, the BBC Earth YouTube channel uploaded a clip of shoebill chicks aggressively fighting each other from the Planet Earth television series (shown below, right). On March 18th, the /r/shoebillstorks[2] subreddit was launched.

On July 23rd, Redditor ArkadiusBear uploaded a GIF of a shoebill fluttering its wings titled "The Shoebill stork is one sassy animal" to /r/gifs,[1] where it gathered upwards of 11,500 points and 500 comments prior to being archived. On August 8th, Imgur[7] user Aivovuoto posted a gallery of shoebill photographs titled "This goofy-looking motherfucker here is the Shoebill."

On September 2nd, Joe Rogan posted a photograph of a shoebill on his Instagram[5] page, describing it as "the freakiest" bird with "a death stare that makes you wonder what it would have been like to lock eyes with a velociraptor" (shown below, left). On February 14th, 2017, the anime Kemono Friends aired an episode featuring an anthropomorphic shoebill character (shown below, right).

On April 4th, Redditor HopeSandoval posted a GIF of a shoebill bathing in a post titled "The Shoebill Stork is a living Pokemon" to /r/gifs,[3] where it garnered more than 47,600 points (86% upvoted) and 1,400 comments within one week. Two days later, Redditor Michaelgamesss submitted a post asking "Why are shoebill storks suddenly so popular?" to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[8] to which Redditor Supersace56 cited the Kemono Friends episode.

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