However, a very useful study undertaken by the research folk at Exeter University in the UK has discovered that there is one, scientifically-proven method of preventing a seagull from stealing your lunch.
The study was published in The Royal Society journal and explained that by staring down a brazen gull with a glacial glare, the birds would back off and leave you to eat your chippies in peace.
The study was undertaken on Herring gulls, a type of bird in Britain famous for pinching peoples food. The researched out 250g of fried potatoe chips in a sealed, transparent bag, and a human research participant crouched in front of the bag of chips. When approached by a gull with nefarious intentions the researcher would stare directly at the bird and record its reactions.
The study found that the human gaze significantly affected the gulls decision to approach the chips. That is, the herring gulls would take a longer time to approach a human when being stared down, than they did when the human was looking away. It appears the birds find the human gaze aversive.
So, next time you’re struggling to protect you hot packet of golden treasure at the beach, stare those critters down.
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