Video showing seagull casually riding on back of another seagull goes viral

July 11th, 2021

Some people might think that teamwork is a human invention and that animals either don’t ever work together or they only do for survival. But a recent video pretty much disproves that, because there is some great animal teamwork happening here.

Seagulls might seem like solitary creatures.

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flickr - John McKerrell Source: flickr - John McKerrell

When you go to the beach, how often do you see a whole bunch of seagulls hanging out?

When they do, it’s often just temporary until one of them flies off to scavenge food for themselves from your beach bag –and they don’t share with each other.

But two seagulls have recently been caught in a true act of solidarity.

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flickr - Konstantinos Dafalias Source: flickr - Konstantinos Dafalias

There’s a viral video that shows one seagull giving the other a ride, literally.

In the video, you can see that one seagull is flying, you know, like something we’re used to seeing seagulls do. But you can also see something else.

On top of that flying seagull, there’s another one. And it’s just sitting there, on top of the seagull that is flying.

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YouTube Screenshot - Mini Entertainment Source: YouTube Screenshot - Mini Entertainment

It’s really crazy to see. How does the seagull manage to hold itself up and the sitting seagull’s weight? Wouldn’t it be mad? Why are they doing this?

Seagull experts are also baffled by this.

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flickr - Gareth Simpson Source: flickr - Gareth Simpson

Recently, The Dodo interviewed a seagull expert, Peter Rock. They asked him plenty of questions about this seagull phenomenon but, it turns out, Rock has actually never observed this before. He says:

“It is amusing. I’ve never seen this before.”

For a seagull expert to not even be familiar with this behavior means that this is probably pretty rare, and maybe we are witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event.

But Rock has some hunches about what’s going on, and he has some jokes about it too.

“This is the exact position the gulls adopt for mating. Is this, in the gull world, what you’d call the mile high club?”

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flickr - Bernard Spragg. NZ Source: flickr - Bernard Spragg. NZ

It’s interesting to think that this might be common but has just never been recorded before.

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flickr - Bart Kuik Source: flickr - Bart Kuik

Animals have coexisted long before humans were around, and even longer than smartphones have recorded every wacky thing we see in the world. A BBC commentator points out:

“The curious thing with things like that is that you always wonder how normal is that and it’s just not been caught on camera before?”

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flickr - C Watts Source: flickr - C Watts

This is a fair point, and considering that we are still learning more and more every day about the animal kingdom, it’s entirely possible.

So the jury is still out on what this may be, but it is fascinating to watch.

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flickr - Marko Maras Source: flickr - Marko Maras

I am genuinely still so confused about how these guys balance in this position, all the way up in the air like that.

They must be so much more skilled and athletic than I realized. And, it’s really cool to imagine that one of them just got tired midflight and the other offered to help out.

See more hilarious odd-ball seagull antics in the clip below!

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Source: The Dodo, Mark 1333, AnimalAntics