‘I was an accessory to a seagull attack’: Sussex students share their seagull experiences

Do you even live in Brighton if a seagull hasn’t hit the back of your head?

Seagulls are flying rats. There is no doubt about it. They are, I think, one of the most deadliest animals known to Sussex and Brighton students. Unfortunately with studying in Brighton, being associated with these birds just comes part and parcel of being some of the edgiest students in the UK. No matter when you go out, you cannot escape the gull. They. Are. Everywhere.

Whether you’re having chips on the beach, a kiss on the seafront of maybe even a relaxed lunch break outside of Falmer Bar – you just can’t escape them. We asked Sussex students for their worst experiences with seagulls after we saw a TikTok of a student having their purse stolen by a flying rat outside of East Slope, you can see this on The Sussex Tab’s Instagram story.

Here’s what they had to say about some of the antics they get up to with Brighton’s most savage bird.

‘I shit myself, not literally, but I shit myself’

One unfortunate student told The Sussex Tab about a horrifying experience they once had with a seagull, a donut and a napkin. They said: “One swooped over my head from behind and stole my donut just as I was about to take a bite. I shit myself, not literally, but I shit myself because it even managed to take the napkin as well.”

Now, we know what you’re thinking. This isn’t that scary, but that’s because you’ve never experienced it first hand before – you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be taken out by a gull.

‘One of them physically hit me in the head’

Word of advice, if a seagull is swooping then you need to duck and roll. This is a sensation that is inexplicable. The feeling of having a flying bird from behind come in and smack the back of your skull is enough to put you off the seafront for life. This poor Sussex student revealed: “I was eating an ice cream and a seagull swooped in from behind and hit me in the head, I was shocked and scared. This was enough for me to move and let the seagull have the whole thing.”

If this isn’t some food for thought then I don’t know what is.

‘My housemate unsuccessfully had a fist fight with a seagull’

We are aware seagulls don’t have fists and we can confirm no seagulls were hurt during this. The only damaged thing was this young man’s ego once he realised he did not have the capability to fight a seagull. They told The Sussex Tab: “My housemate tried to punch one when it tried to take his sandwich. He did not succeed. I think the seagull just swooped to eat his Tesco meal deal, my housemate was having none of it.”

Rightfully so, not only did this young man have £3 less in his bank account, but he also had a deflated ego after failing to throw hands.

Give out an inch and the seagull will take your sandwich

‘It was just so unnecessary of the seagull to take it that far’

This student stressed that they had a particularly bad day, they were tired and also it was the nearing the end of the term so they were skint. They had spent the last pennies of their loan on their lunch and a seagull came out of no where only to rip the sandwich out of their hand and joy out of their heart.

They told The Sussex Tab: “I was just eating my lunch peacefully and trying to catch a minute silence before my next lecture. Out of no where a seagull came flying in and just snatched the whole thing and then went about it’s day. It was just so unnecessary to the seagull to take it that far.”

‘I was hungover on both accounts’

One student recalls standing outside the on campus Co-op and being bombarded by a gull as she was eating her pastry. She told The Sussex Tab: “I’ve had a danish pastry taken out of my bare hands outside campus Co-op twice. I was hungover on both accounts. These seagulls clearly have a very boujee taste.”

‘A seagull landed on my head’

As soon as I get the confidence of a seagull, then it’s over for the lot of you. Jokes, but also imagine having the same confidence level as a seagull? It would be incredible. Anyway, this student had a seagull physically land on their head. They told us: “I was sitting on the beach eating an ice cream and a gull came in and landed on my head in attempt to score a the ice cream.”

‘I was an accessory to a seagull attack’

Now we know what you’re thinking, seagulls would never turn us humans against each other. Well, you’re wrong to think that. One student at Sussex spoke about the time she was used by a seagull to attack another student. She told The Sussex Tab: “I was an accessory to a seagull attack. A seagull bounced off of my shoulder and propelled itself towards a guy who was eating a sandwich as he walked in front of me. The gull stole the sandwich right out of his hand but the guy tried to batt it away. The gull then flew around and bounced off of me and claimed the sandwich as its own.”

‘The seagull at it in front me just to spite me’

There is something about seagulls and sandwiches, maybe more so than seagulls and chips. One student told The Sussex Tab about the experience they had at Brighton train station. They stated: “I was sat in Brighton train station eating a sandwich I had just bought and a seagull flew from behind, over my shoulder and took it. I blinked and it was gone. Had I not had a station full of witnesses, of it the seagull didn’t eat it right in front of me to spite me, I fully would not have realised what happened.”

‘I’m both mentally and physically scarred’

Seagulls are undoubtedly vicious creatures, one student was even physically hurt by one. They revealed: “Once I was in central Brighton with my friend, we were both eating meal deals, me a cheese and onion sandwich, him a chicken tikka. We became surrounded by gulls and pigeons, I taunted the gulls by holding my sandwich aloft and a gull pounced, stealing the sandwich out my hand and scratching me in the process. I am now both mentally and physically scarred.”

When will these horrid attempts stop? Why can’t students eat in peace? Why do seagulls have personal vendettas against students in Brighton? These are questions we would all like to know the answer to because we cannot go on much longer being bullied by these flying savages.