Sparrows Die En Masse After Eating Rice, Chinese Reactions

Sparrows, hand holding a dead sparrow bird.

Sparrows, hand holding a dead sparrow bird.

From NetEase:

Sparrows Die En Masse After Snapping Up Spilled Rice, Expert: Probably Just Ate Too Much and Burst

June 29, while a cargo ship was at a dock loading a shipment of rice, a large amount of rice spilled onto the ground, whereupon 20-some sparrows died one after another after rushing to eat the rice. After the incident, the Yichang city government, public security bureau [police], and food and drug administration attached a high level of importance to it [investigated, treated it as serious]. After laboratory tests of samples taken from the ship’s four shipments of rice, it was confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the rice itself.

“Many sparrows died after eating the rice.” On the morning of June 29, a resident called the police claiming that a cargo ship docked at the Night Pearl pier was loading rice during which quite a bit of rice was spilled onto the ground. A lot of sparrows flew over to eat the rice on the ground, but not long later, they began dying one by one for unknown reasons.

Upon receiving the report, the Yichang city government flagged the incident and immediately dispatched staff along with staff from the city’s public security bureau and food and drug administration to Night Pearl pier. When they arrived at the scene, the cargo ship was still loading the rice and indeed there was quite a lot of rice spilled on the ground, with the bodies of about 20 dead sparrow in the area. Through investigation, the tens of tons of rice had four types, all produced from the northeast, to be shipped to Chongqing after being loaded here. The staff then collected samples from each of the four types and forbade the ship from leaving before the test results came back.

Technicians conducted lab tests on the samples overnight, and the four types of rice yielded no quality/safety issues. The cargo ship departed Night Pearl docks on the morning of the 30th for Chongqing. As to the death of the sparrows, the technicians say they may have died from eating too much [too much too fast, gorged themselves to death, “bursting” from food], or it may be that they had eaten something bad somewhere else and died while scrambling for the rice here by coincidence.

Comments from NetEase:

网易河北省手机网友 ip:101.20.*.*:

Died from eating too much… I may not have a lot of education but don’t bullshit me.

wyongstar [网易上海市手机网友]:

All 20-some of them died from eating too much? Then how did a species like the sparrow manage to survive to this day?

网易广东省中山市手机网友 ip:27.42.*.*:

Don’t use an expert’s intelligence to measure a sparrow’s intelligence.

网易安徽省手机网友 ip:124.113.*.*:

Yet again an expert. Would you dare eat [that rice]?

网易福建省厦门市手机网友 ip:117.29.*.*:

Saying nonsense…also possible it was from elsewhere.

66814ef2b587eb18a224ad5e [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

Birds have “crops“, where the food they eat is first stored in a crop where it is softened and then enter the stomach. Therefore, no matter how much they eat, they won’t die from eating too much. Have you ever seen a chicken or duck dying from eating too much? When mammals eat, it goes directly into the stomach, and thus can die from eating too much [and bursting]. For example, humans.

d3dec0c27af9f788fc020fed [懂球菜鸟]:


我是农民龚 [懂球大师]:

I’m from Yichang and my home is in the rural countryside. When I was small and the sun came out during the summer, we would lay out the wheat and corn in front of our house to dry them in the sun. A lot of sparrows would come by to eat them. This was the most annoying. You would drive them away but they’d come back, so you’d have to drive them away again, and they would come back again. Sometimes we would give up and let them eat, thinking how much could they eat anyway, and that they would fly away on their own after they’re full. In one day, a lot of flocks would come by, and what they ate wasn’t little, but I’ve never seen any eat themselves to death… Now over 20 years have gone by and seeing this piece of news today, I’m puzzled. Have sparrows become stupid or has society become black [corrupt], that this kind of explanation can be reported to the public, that this kind of article can be published, that this kind of farce can fool the masses? Grass mud horse editor/author, you will sooner or later die from eating too much as well.

TooYoo00 [懂球菜鸟]:

I wanted to eat fish tonight so I bought one from the market and brought it home and asked my wife to hurry and kill it because it’s better to eat it fresh. After a long while, I went to the kitchen to take a look and all I saw was my wife with both hands pressing the fish down in a basin filled with water. So I asked her why she has been washing the fish for so long and hasn’t begun cooking. She said: I’ll cook it once I’ve finished drowning it!

不知道该起个啥名好 [网易宁夏手机网友]:

There are so many sparrows in wheat crops yet I’ve never seen a single sparrow die from eating too much. Is this testing the ordinary common people’s intelligence? The expert, please come forward and answer the ordinary common people’s doubts/skepticism!

sl2580 [懂球帝]:

In all my years, I’ve seen many animals who have died from hunger, but this is the first time I’ve seen one who ate itself to death. Have I gotten smarter or is the expert reliable?

ybjy888 [懂球达人]:

How has the expert eaten so much black money [bribes] and not eaten himself to death yet?

Dauietr [网易新疆巴音郭楞州库尔勒市手机网友]:

Sparrows eating themselves to death? This so-called technician, how is that you haven’t eaten yourself to death?! I’ve seen a lot of sparrows but never have I seen a sparrow that ate itself to death! You SB, you don’t even know the most basic of biology and yet you still make up bullshit here. Tell us, how much money did you receive?!!

网易浙江省湖州市手机网友 ip:60.184.*.*:

I can overlook you taking me for a stupid cunt, but you fucking think sparrows are also stupid cunts? That it doesn’t even know how much it can eat?

网易湖北省手机网友 ip:120.202.*.*:

I’ve seen those that have died from hunger, from poison, from injuries, but I’ve never seen any that have died from eating too much. Looks like this is an expert.

放心纵逸 [网易黑龙江省牡丹江市手机网友]:

If the sparrow died from eating too much, then how many would die every year during the all harvest? How come I’ve never heard of a single one?! Expert, are you trying to show off your intelligence?!

网易广东省深圳市福田区手机网友 ip:121.34.*.*:

When the season where rice crops mature comes and large numbers of sparrows are in the fields fluttering about scavenging for food… I’ll angrily charge at them screaming: Eat! Eat! Just wait till you eat yourselves to death!


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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