TikTok has a conspiracy theory that pandas don’t exist

In recent days, a conspiracy theory has gained traction on the Chinese social network TikTok, suggesting that pandas do not exist.

What if pandas didn’t exist? This absurd theory is unleashing the crowds, especially the younger generation, on the social network TikTok. A symbol of China, as well as environmental protection, this clumsy animal is adored by everyone for its cuteness, but some netizens seem to be questioning its existence. According to them, pandas are none other than people dressed as pandas, or bears painted in black and white.

While at the dawn of the 1980s there were less than a thousand of them on our planet and their extinction was inevitable, pandas have not been considered endangered since 2016 after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had already downgraded the giant panda from “disappearing”. to “vulnerable”. Some netizens claim they were never on the verge of extinction because they never existed, hence the hashtag #pandasnotreal (“pandas are not real”) on Chinese social media, which has racked up over 6.2 million views.

Food and libido in the origin of doubt

Conspiracy theorists first rely on facts they find strange, such as the fact that the panda was originally a carnivore but later became a herbivore because today it eats 99% bamboo. Another reason that raises the most skeptical doubts is how pandas still exist and how their numbers have increased, while they have great difficulty in breeding, the latter have a very low libido, and their reproductive period lasts only a few days in year, between February 15. and March 30, the period when the female is only capable of bearing children for 48 hours. Others also wonder why pandas urinate during handstands.

Also, some netizens point out that fake pandas have been found in the past. In 2014, at an Italian circus in Brescia, the boss was arrested for disguising two chow chow dogs as pandas and taking pictures of them.

Rumors that have been circulating for years

Another rumor from the same year revealed that a female panda faked a pregnancy to get more food from the Chinese breeding center she was staying at, which some say is too suspicious for a panda. Indeed, a female panda cannot fake pregnancy, but some female pandas are tricked by their hormones and unconsciously accept the mother-to-be’s attitude even if the baby is not born.

A conspiracy theory that is not new. As La Voix du Nord points out, on a Reddit forum, an 8-year-old post titled “I’m pretty sure pandas are just an extremely elaborate hoax” received thousands of upvotes, with many people wondering if pandas aren’t people in costumes. , especially because of some of the pandas’ movements, which are very human-like.

“I’m pretty sure pandas are just an elaborate joke.” (Reddit screenshot)

There are so many theories that give skeptics reason to believe that these giant furballs don’t exist, unless it’s pure irony like the Birds Are Not Real movement. This movement is a fake conspiracy theory that hints that all the birds were killed in the 70s and replaced with drones created to mock conspiracy theorists to raise awareness of disinformation.

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