Ballistic facemasks aren't new. We've seen them in movies, comic books, video games like Army of Two. And we've seen them in real life, where they are utterly intimidating.

Recently, website site DDN Japan and Tumblr site You're Not Bulletproof pointed to these photos of Taiwanese Special Forces troops. The pics are from a military parade a few years back and show troops decked out in ballistic facemasks.

According to You're Not Bulletproof, the masks are designed to protect wearers from close-range headshots and are apparently able to withstand a .44 Magnum. Keep in mind, even with the facemask, getting shot could break a nose, fracture a cheekbone, or knock the wearer unconscious. Then, as Slate points out, there's the limited visibility, the breathing difficulties, and the added weight.

These masks sure are frightening, though, and make the wearers look like baddies.

まるでホラー「台湾の特殊部隊」のいかつさは異常 [DDN Japan via You're Not Bulletproof]

Photos: You're Not Bulletproof/阿瓜摄影/Hayabusa

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.