We're already practicing our stare-down.

Seagulls have a ruthless reputation for stealing beachgoers' food! Innocent lives have been violated by the swift steal of their lobster rolls, chips, sandwiches, and more. In order to try and prevent this from happening again, researchers at The University of Exeter conducted a study to see what would prevent the birds from stealing food.

The results were pretty surprisingly simple! The trick to stopping a seagull in its tracks? Staring them down! When you stare at a seagull, it will take them 21 seconds longer to do the deed, giving you enough time to hide the food or chase the bird away.

According to the study, "University of Exeter researchers put a bag of chips on the ground and tested how long it took herring gulls to approach when a human was watching them, compared to when the human looked away. On average, gulls took 21 seconds longer to approach the food with a human staring at them."

Seems a little too simple, huh? Well, simple usually does work. 

Courtesy of Giphy

Each seagull will react differently depending on its personality, so the stare-down won't work for every bird. It should, however, work for most of them. When the researchers tested the seagulls, only 27 out of 74 seagulls approached the food. 

The seagulls will feel reluctant and nervous because they are being watched instead of having the opportunity to steal the food in secret! Take a look at this video to see how it works:

If you live at the beach, you can relate to this statement: "Stupid seagulls, give me back my food!"

The local birds are ruthless and will stop at nothing to take your perfectly made sandwich right out of your hands (especially if it has seafood on it)! Don't let the pesky bird ruin your day; just defeat them in a staredown! 

What do you think about this study? Do you think it will work? Has a seagull stolen food from you? Tell us in the comments.