The massive yellow rubber duck that mysteriously appeared in a Maine harbor recently has disappeared and nobody knows how or why.
The 25-foot tall inflatable waterbird with the word "joy" emblazoned on its chest appeared overnight on Aug. 14 in the Belfast Harbor in Maine. Residents had no idea who it belonged to, or how it got there, but harbor master Katherine Given told the Bangor Daily News at the time that if the owner did come to claim the giant duck, moving it would be a massive effort. Despite this, someone did manage to move it without drawing any attention sometime on Saturday night, leaving residents who were delighted when the duck first appeared baffled as to how, and why, it was gone.
Given speculated that it may have been out of concern for Tropical Storm Henri and although it was warranted, community members were still disappointed that it was gone.
"Most people loved it. They really were rather upset when it left," Given told the Bangor Daily News this week. "It was fun while it lasted."
The rubber duck became a local tourist attraction of sorts, drawing people from nearby towns to witness the spectacle. Given explained that the community wanted to keep it there and until someone claimed it, would remain where it was as it was not causing any harm where it was.
"If it was in the middle of the mooring field, it could be kind of a navigational hazard," Given said. "Where it's in the shallow water, it's not bothering anybody."
Boat owners said they had spotted the duck, or a similar-looking one, in the neighboring island town of Isleboro. Many believe it had drifted from there into Belfast harbor. It remains unclear who placed the duck in the harbor but Given said that she did receive an anonymous letter from someone claiming to be responsible for its arrival.
"JOY simply is fowl play. In this day in age of such bitter divisiveness in our country, we wanted to put forth a reminder of our commonalities instead of our differences," the letter stated. "Nothing embodies childhood more than being in a warm bath with your rubber ducky – the joy of not having a care in the world other than having to remember to wash behind our ears."
The letter indicated that the duck may land up somewhere else after departing Belfast.
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