News from the Natural World: Seagulls in London are accidentally ‘blacking up’ due to rising levels of air pollution.
The Platypus has captured photographs of seagulls across London ‘blacking up’. The birds were covered in a black/soot like colour with only their colourful beaks showing. The images began to circulate across the media like a wildfire. What the hell were the Seagulls thinking!? ‘Blacking up’ is a form of make up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice started back in the 1850s and was widespread in comedy, cinema and theatre. It is is now considered highly offensive, disrespectful, and moreover extremely racist.
Why were they continuing the horrendous process of ‘blacking up’? Finally, The Platypus managed to interview a local Seagull outside Earls Court Station, London, called Keith. A look of pure horror spread across his beak when we questioned him. We had completely missed the reason why Seagulls were blacking up. Keith turned and said;
“I’m not blacking up on purpose! Air pollution causes it! We’re flying around all day and we have pristine white feathers. We get covered in horrific amounts of pollution that turns our bodies black. London is one of the most polluted cities in Europe don’t you know!”