Pigeons aren’t known for sparking social media frenzies, probably because most of us view them as annoying, flying rats.
But one TikTok channel dedicated to the pavement-lurking birds has prompted a flutter of interest after it shared a pretty jaw-dropping video.
The clip, which is accompanied by suitably jaunty music, shows a staggeringly proportioned pigeon, with a fit-to-busting chest, skinny white legs and giant feathers for claws, apparently.
The man behind Pigeons TV posted the footage early last month and it has since racked up more than 18.6 million views and 1.6 million likes.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
@pigeonstv English Pouter pigeons #pigeonstv #pigeon ♬ original sound – Pigeons Tv
Stunned commentators have pointed out that it looks like some sort of chicken/pigeon hybrid, with a number suggesting the “mutant” bird must be a hoax.
“What in the A.I. generated pigeon is that?” one asked.
“Y’’all better not [be] gaslight me into thinking this is real,” wrote another.
“If I were 5 years old and you told me to draw a picture of a bird, this is what it would look like,” joked a third.
“Bro came out [of] a Dr Suess Book,” added a fourth.
And a fifth said: “I don’t know much about birds but these are obviously two birds wearing a pigeon suit.”
However, it turns out they’re all wrong. And this Frankenstein’s Monster of a feathered friend is simply an example of one of the many varieties of pigeons that exist in the world.
The English Pouter is believed to have originated in England more than 400 years ago as the result of cross-breeding among a number of other old pigeon types.
It’s best known for its bulbous breast, which it can puff up and hold in position for hours on end, according to the AviCulture blog.
Indeed, the bird is so famed for its interesting looks that Charles Darwin himself commented on its appearance in his 1868 book ‘The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication’, branding it: “Perhaps the most distinct of all domesticated pigeons”.
The Poulter’s full chest also apparently influenced fashion back in the early 20th Century, inspiring a “poulter pigeon’ dress”, which puffed above the waist.
Who knew that pigeons were true OG fashionistas?