TV reporter mistakes sex toy for mushroom
A young Chinese reporter is red-faced after mistaking a sex toy for a rare mushroom in a television report.
Villagers from Liucunbu, outside the western Chinese city of Xi'an, discovered the strange object while drilling a new well shaft, reports the Shanghaiist.
"When we dug down to about 80m deep, we fished out this long, fleshy object. It's got a nose and an eye, but we have no idea what it is," one said.
The perplexed villagers decided to call up their local TV station for help and intrepid reporter Ye Yunfeng was quickly dispatched to the scene.
She put together an in-depth piece about the unidentified 'meaty' mushroom, including numerous close-ups of her grasping the strange object.
She said: "We can see there is something like a mouth; and on the other side there is a hole that connects all the way through to the other end. It is very smooth. It feels very much like meat."
Ye claimed that it was a rare medicinal Taisui mushroom, which needed very specific conditions in which to grow.
However,a number of viewers called up the TV station to say that the mystery 'mushroom' was actually a sex toy for men.
One commented online: "How do you not know the difference between silicone and an organic fungus??"
The news station posted an apology on Sina Weibo, a Chinese blogging website, the following day.
"Our reporter is very young and sheltered," it said, expressing regret for an 'uncomfortable and misleading' report.