On June 17, Chinese investigative news program Xi'an Up Close reported about a "mysterious mushroom" discovered in the rural part of Liucunbu, outside the capital of Shaanxi province, while digging for a new well.
Wondering what it was, the villagers kept their mysterious discovery in a bucket of water and occasionally poked it. That is, with their fingers.
"When we dug down to about 80m deep, we fished out this long, fleshy object," one villager told reporter Ye Yunfeng (via Shingaiist) It's got a nose and an eye, but we have no idea what it is!"
The villager added that even his 80 year-old neighbor has never seen anything like this before.
"As we can all see, this looks like a type of fungus, on both ends of which you'll find mushroom heads," said the reporter.
"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 very fleshy and meaty too."
Unknown to the villagers, what they had actually discovered was a male masturbation aid. The "pair of lips" represents a vagina, and the "tiny hole" represents an anus.
Still, the villagers had their own theories, thinking that they'd found a type of lingzhi mushroom; the reporter seemed to agree, adding that the lingzhi mushroom can be found in the region and even was a secret to longevity.
The news report quickly went viral in China and the rest of Asia as people online knew this was no mystery and pointed out that the villagers had discovered a sex toy; this program seemed to have no idea what it filmed.
The show, however, issued a correction, trying to pawn off the mistake on the reporter who is "still very young and unwise to the ways of the world" (an unfair excuse because the reporter most certainly had a crew, an editor, a producer and others involved in the story—this was not rogue sex toy confusion). The program added, "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!"