Viewers solve mystery of the 'fleshy monster'
By Xu Chi | 2012-6-19 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
A TV channel in Xi'an City, northwest China Shaanxi Province apologized yesterday after the "unidentified fleshy monster" it said had been discovered underground turned out to be ... a sex toy.
"Monster discovered during well digging," claimed the Xi'an Channel 2 during its "Zero Distance to Xi'an" program broadcast on Sunday.
In the program, a young female reporter and a group of villagers gathered near a bucket of water, in which the "mysterious fleshy pink object" was floating.
"I was helping a friend to dig a well about 80 meters under the ground where we found this fleshy thing," said a villager surnamed He.
"We don't know what it is, but it seems to have eyes and nose," He said.
The reporter said the object was like a smooth mushroom with one of its ends looking like a human mouth.
"Some elderly villagers, with some 80 years old, dropped by to study the object but they had never seen anything like it," He said. He browsed online and wondered whether the object was a meat lucid ganoderma, a type of fungus. The reporter said she would be taking the object to a botanist for analysis.
But viewers weren't fooled, quickly pointing out that the object was not some rare fungus but an artificial vagina.
"Ignorance is horrible. How can the reporter mistake a sex toy for fungus?" asked one viewer on his Weibo microblog.
"I own a sex toy shop and this thing is exactly like the artificial vaginas I sell every day," said another viewer on Tianya.cn.
A download of the program was forwarded more than 14,000 times online sparking not only amusement but also criticism of the station's lack of professionalism.
In response, the station made an apology on its official microblog yesterday.
"We are sorry to incur ridicule from the news coverage on Sunday. The incident has attracted wide public attention and comments," it said.
"We apologize for discomfort and misdirection brought to the audience because our reporters are young and unfamiliar with worldly affairs."