Proving yet again that fact can be stranger than fiction. (Or if this is fiction, someone has a WICKED sense of humor). A friend of mine (a primatologist) sent me a link to this news story about a village in China (Liucunbu, near Xian) where an artifact from a well turned out to be a naughty sex toy. I thought this might be a prank story, but ABC picked it up, so that lends credibility to the story in my mind. You could say that the mistaken fungus Ganoderma lucidum has gone “VIRAL”. The whole thing is nicely written with double-entendres, however, such as this short quote:
Villagers from Liucunbu, a rural community outside western Chinese city of Xi’an, encountered the sex toy while drilling a new well shaft. Hard-pressed to identify the flexible, fungi-like object, perplexed residents alerted the local news station, which immediately sent reporter Yunfeng Ye to the scene.
[....] The report opens with Ye proclaiming the discovery of the mysterious object, the likes of which “not even an 80-year-old local man has seen.” Villagers crouch around the object, floating innocently in a water-filled bucket. “It has an eye and a nose, but we don’t know what it is,” says a man who was among the drillers who discovered the sex toy.
Describing the object’s qualities in explicit detail [....]
Oh, my, someone had fun writing that story. Xian is much more famous (in my mind) for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di.
Legend has it that the actual tomb of the emporer has a map of his empire with his body at the center. Above him are the stars of his realm, represented by pearls in the tomb’s ceiling. Scarily enough, the map also contains 100 rivers of his empire, created with mercury in the floor of the tomb. I don’t think I want to be the one to excavate that tomb.