Mushroom or Dildo? The Chinese Decides

Posted by Grey Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brace yourself for one hell of a serious contender for the much-coveted title of most hilariously clumsy display of journalism...ever.

This piece of news maybe a little NSFW depending on the level of seriousness at your workplace. But if you are ready for quite possibly one of the most (unintentionally) hilarious piece of news reporting ever, here we go.

On June 17, a report on an unidentified object found by villagers in a rural part of the Shaanxi province was aired on Xi'an Up Close 《西安零距离》, an investigative journalism programme airing on Xi'an TV. The rest as we know will go down in history as one of most hilariously clumsy display of journalism...ever.

While drilling the ground for a new well, villagers of the Liucunbu village on the outskirts of the capital of the Shaanxi province found a "mysteriously"-shaped object that somehow was perceived by the villagers as some kind of strange breed of fungi or mushroom type. Puzzled by the nature of this object, the villagers called up the local TV station and young and fearless reporter Ye Yunfeng is here to the rescue. And being the "resourceful" journalist that she is, she came prepared after doing some homework. Courtesy of Shanghaiist, these are her findings:

"As we can all see, this looks like a type of fungus, on both ends of which you'll find mushroom heads. On this side, you can see what looks like a pair of lips. And on that side, there is a tiny hole which extends all the way back to this side. The object looks very shiny, and it feels really fleshy and meaty too. I've done my own research on the internet. It's a type of lingzhi mushroom, called the taisui."

Ye followed up to her theory with another profound insight after noticing that this type of lingzhi is generally found in deep underground locales in the Shaanxi region and is rarely seen. She further elaborate by making the seemingly obligatory practice in Xi' An (the locale famous for the discovery of Qin Dynasty's Terracotta Warriors) by connecting the "strange" object to Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

"When the Emperor Qin Shi Huang was on the hunt for the secret to longevity, it is said he discovered this lingzhi was the answer."

The problem? The "strange" object is obviously an abandoned sex toy. To be precise, a double-headed masturbation toy complete with an artificial vagina and anus at both ends.

Hit the jump to check out the clip and drown yourself in your own laughter.



Sharp-eye audiences soon picked up the news and the inevitable online mockery ensues. As we stand in wonder to this astonishing display of inept news reporting as well as some incredulously gullibility on the part of the villagers, the understandably embarrassed Xi'an Up Close issued a pretty sincere apology:

致广大网友及观众的公开信:各位亲!昨晚我们的一条新闻让大家见笑了。这件事引发了大家的广泛关注、转发和评论。由于我们的记者还很年轻,不谙世事,在这条新闻中给大家带来了不适和误导!在此,我们衷心的感谢各位网友对我们节目的批评和指正。亲们,请原谅我们的一次疏忽吧。

(Translation courtesy of Shanghaiist): An open letter to all netizens and viewers: Hi everyone, one of our news reports which aired last night has made everyone laugh. This incident has been widely followed, shared and commented on. As our reporter was still very young and unwise to the ways of the world, this report has brought great inconvenience to everyone. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for your criticism and correction. Please forgive our oversight!


In an appropriately insane development to the incident, it was noticed that some particularly bright street cleaner in the area tapped into some serious entrepreneurship by selling these "taisui lingzhi mushroom" (which Emperor Qin reportedly was trying to find in his quest for immortality) for as much as 18,000RMB (US$2,800).



Wow, China. You never cease to surprise me.

Source: Shanghaiist and Shanghaiist via iO9

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