While you or I may dismiss them as mere rats of the sky, and for good reasons, there's still truth to the adage that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Or at least value does. That can pehaps explain why an unidentified Chinese buyer forked out an eye-watering $1.4 million (Rs 9.7 crore) for a bird, and a pigeon at that.
The Belgian pigeon, named Armando, is considered to be the best long-distance racing pigeon "of all time" according to PIPA, the website that facilitated the sale, adding "This type of champion is rarely offered for sale."
CNN reported that Joel Verschoot, the Belgian pigeon breeder and Armando's previous owner who put the prize bird under the hammer, metaphorically speaking, sold a total of 178 pigeons at the auction, including seven of Armando's offspring, collecting an excess of $2.5 million (Rs 17.1 crore).
Meet a prized racing pigeon named Armando, that just became the most expensive bird to ever be sold at auction. IN-09TU pic.twitter.com/mjgWSw2XwZ— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) March 19, 2019
The bidding war over the pigeon took place over several hours, with the price shooting up from about $600,000 to $1.4 million in about an hour, PIPA said, after two Chinese enthusiasts kept outbidding each other, until the pigeon was finally sold.
According to The Guardian, Armando, who is five years old and nearing his retirement age, is said to have an exceptional sense of direction and remarkable wing strength, and has been described as the “Lewis Hamilton of pigeons.”