On Friday morning, the PLA Daily published nine totally rad pictures on Weibo seeming to show Chinese soldiers dressed up in some very impressive camouflage.
But there’s just one small problem. Turns out, that these pictures aren’t of PLA soldiers, they were taken right out of an American hunting magazine.
This revelation comes courtesy of The Nanfang, which thought the pictures didn’t quite look right and conducted a full investigation, revealing that the PLA Daily had stolen the pics from American sporting goods retailer Realtree.
Here’s the Weibo post translated by The Nanfang.
Test your eyes and have a look at these unnaturally effective camouflage
Camouflage is achieved by using paint, dyes and other materials to blend in with a cover or with background surroundings. Modern camouflage attire isn’t just limited to (civilians) wearing it, but also for use during warfare. Have a look and test your eyes; in the following pictures, can you find the people in them?
So, to be fair, it’s not like the PLA Daily ever truly said that the camouflaged photo subjects were PLA soldiers. However, they failed to mention that the pics were from Realtree, and the PLA has something of a reputation of hyping up its own special military gear on social media.
While the original PLA Daily Weibo post may merely be misleading, later Chinese publications took the post and ran with it, eventually making it downright false. The Nanfang continues its impressive investigation:
The People’s Daily Online reported the photos depict “combat uniforms featuring camouflage patterns”. Similarly, 21CN said these are “camouflage warfare outfits” while iFeng called them “Real warfare camouflage”. Both Sohu Military and AK Military News said these are “Camouflaged outfits of PLA soldiers”, captioning the photos with “The outfits of the PLA are enough to make people gasp in astonishment.” Likewise, the following Weibo users are under the impression that the person depicted is a Chinese soldier, writing, “Camouflage outfits of the PLA soldiers will test your sight: looks exactly like a tree, but holds a gun”
This all really makes you question everything that the PLA has said in the past, huh? Are these water bottles CGI? Are they really cool with cutting their numbers by 300,000? Was this Top Gun-like video really taken from Top Gun?
Anyway, enjoy more cool pictures of not-PLA soldiers in camouflage… or maybe the Chinese soldiers are so well camouflaged that you can’t even see them?
[h/t The Nanfang]