Planet China

Toy story

Toy story

For Xi’an Channel 2, it seemed like the scoop of the year. To much excitement, it broadcast images of an “unidentified fleshy monster” supposedly discovered by a man digging a well, in what promised to be the biggest find since villagers dug up the Terracotta Warriors in 1974. The Shanghai Daily reports that a TV presenter spoke to a villager named He who confirmed: “We don’t know what it is, but it seems to have eyes and a nose”. Viewers were shown images of a “mysterious fleshy pink object” floating in a bucket. The show’s best guess was that it was a previously unknown fungus.

Not quite – and members of the audience were quick to identify the mystery item. “How can the reporter mistake a sex toy for fungus?” asked one Sina Weibo blogger. And sure enough, the monster was soon identified as just that, leading to hilarity online. Finally, the TV station issued an apology, noting that it regretted having incurred “ridicule” from its coverage.

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