The air is charged with anticipation in the sports world as the nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or are finally unveiled. This coveted individual accolade stands as the pinnacle of recognition in soccer. However, this year’s roster of nominees carries a shocking absence, a departure from the norm persisting for over two decades- Cristiano Ronaldo. As soccer enthusiasts eagerly await the grand revelation of the final result on October 30th, it’s time to delve into the intriguing array of nominations and snubs.
The Eighth Quest for Greatness
Lionel Messi, a name synonymous with athletic excellence, finds himself on the precipice of securing his eighth Ballon d’Or. Widely hailed as the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) in the soccer realm, Messi’s journey to this coveted accolade has gained momentum, thanks to his pivotal role in Argentina’s triumph at the 2022 World Cup. His potential eighth Ballon d’Or triumph would etch his name even deeper into the chronicles of sports history, particularly in light of the shocking absence of Cristiano Ronaldo this year.
The Rising Challenger
With Cristiano Ronaldo notably absent from the running, a fresh face has emerged as a potent adversary for Messi this year. Erling Haaland, the Norwegian “goal machine,” has enjoyed a truly remarkable season, notching up an astounding 52 goals in just 53 matches. Haaland’s contributions played a crucial role in Manchester City’s resounding success across the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. His remarkable on-field prowess has captured the spotlight, positioning him as a formidable contender in the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
The Astonishing Absence
The absence of the Portuguese sensation, with a storied history that boasts five previous Ballon d’Or triumphs and an astonishing two-decade streak of nominations, has left fans and experts in shock. As the anticipation builds for the crowning of the 2023 Ballon d’Or recipient, soccer fans are left to scrutinize and debate this puzzling absence.
An audio recording of the Australian musk duck Ripper was recently rediscovered by researchers. The 34-year-old recording represents the first documented evidence of the musk duck species mimicking sounds. The audio itself contains a recording of Ripper saying something like, “you bloody fool.”
Ripper the Talking Duck Was Recorded Back In 1987 by Researcher Dr. Peter Fullagar
Dr. Fullagar recorded Ripper at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra decades ago, and until recently, the audio had been lost. That is until it was rediscovered by Professor Carel ten Cate of the Leiden University, Netherlands. Professor Carel ten Cate had been researching birds that are capable of vocal learning when he came across a reference to a talking musk duck that used to imitate sounds like speech and even a slamming door.
Professor Carel ten Cate Was Amazed That the Recording of Ripper the Talking Duck Was Not Noticed Sooner
According to Professor Carel ten Cate, the discovery of Ripper the talking duck came as a big surprise to him. He also pointed out how he found it amazing that it had remained unnoticed by vocal learning researchers until now. Professor ten Cate also said that this made the event a very special rediscovery.
Apparently, mimicking sounds is a rare characteristic among all animals. While there is evidence of vocal learning in whales, dolphins, bats, and elephants, it does not appear that it is in the nature of most mammals. It is most common among birds like parrots and ravens, who can easily mimic some sounds. Still, according to the Professor, vocal learning is rare for this group of animals as well.
The professor also stated that many species of songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds are known for being able to learn to produce specific sounds. He then cleared things out by saying that this is because vocal learning originated in those groups’ ancestral species. Previously, researchers assumed that vocal learning was shown in only three of the thirty-five orders of birds, but now thanks to Ripper the talking duck, Professor ten Cate can introduce a new order to the group.