If you head down to the woods in China, you could be in for a big surprise. A big, soul shattering, potentially therapy needing surprise.
In late June, a Chinese man was taking an afternoon hike through a forest in the country's Huairou District. He was plodding along minding his own business, when suddenly he spotted something down by the stream - something terrifying. He saw a humanoid creature with long droopy ears and a skirt made out of tree branches. As is now customary in this age of the internet, the man took a few photos before he fled for his life, the creature also followed suit and ran in the opposite direction.
It didn't take long for hysteria to take hold in China. The images were uploaded to China's popular Sina Weibo social network, and soon talk of a 'Gollum-like creature' was flooding the net, with 16 million mentions on Sina Weibo alone. Take a look at his pictures below:
So, what are we going to do? Should we load up on guns, go hunting for these critters and persecute them for their no doubt different and barbaric belief systems?
No. Just calm down a second. This whole incident has in fact turned out to a rather humorous accident. You see, according to DailyDot.com, the 'monster' was actually an actor dressed up for a video game promo shoot.
The massively multiplayer online game Guild Wars 2 has now come forward to take responsibility for the creature, revealing it was indeed an actor involved in one of their promo photo shoots. Apparently, the man, who was dressed as an Asura - a race of small magical goblin type things - and had taken a break from shooting to do his business by a stream. After being startled by the hiker, he ran off - as you would if you saw someone photographing you while taking a dump.
Beijing Police clarified:
This was an actor wearing a costume. He was filming an advertisement. The actor has provided pictures of himself in the costume to prove it. The actor was taking a loo-break and was still wearing his costume.
Just in case you think this is exactly the kind of thing the authorities would say to cover-up a real monster, the Guild Wars 2 team has provided photos to back up their claims:
The good news for Guild Wars 2 is, this incident probably provided much more publicity than simply photographing a dude in a suit.
How would you react to meeting this creature in the woods?