Where does the rumor come from that this animal does not exist?

No, you weren’t dreaming when you read the title… Social networks are seeing more and more theories flourish, each one stranger than the next. And in recent weeks, on TikTok, a surprising trend has emerged: the hashtag #pandasarentreal. Translation: pandas are not real.

In many videos, Internet users express their doubts about the existence of this animal. Some get several thousand views and comments. Supporting images or anecdotes, everyone has different arguments to justify their theory.


Let’s not waste time presenting the proofs of the existence of pandas. Yes, they are simply real. But where does this strange idea come from that the animal, China’s national treasure, does not exist? There are two schools: those who think that pandas are in fact bears that man has painted black and white, and those who think that they are simply humans wearing a costume.

The doubt of some comes from their late discovery. “Pandas are never mentioned in the history of the world, despite all the documentation,” says a user. “You are going to make us believe that such an intelligent civilization [la Chine] ignored the existence of this animal for thousands of years and finally made it its mascot, ”notes another during a live video. In the West, the giant panda was known only from 1869, when Father Armand David, a native of the Basque Country, returned from his trip to China. But locally, in Asia, historians and archaeologists have shown traces of the symbolic side of the animal from the third century.

An animal too close to humans?

Internet users also note many common points between the panda and the man. “The reflex to lean back when an object touches the animal’s head is what a human would do,” says an American, showing a video of the mammal in a park. Or the fact of being able to sit on one’s posterior.

Some even try to justify their theory based on science. “Animals can die from the same viruses as humans, it’s no coincidence,” says one of them. It is true that there are similarities. Scientists have also compared the spine of pandas and humans. They found that, unlike bears, pandas had fewer vertebrae in their lower backs and they had a different shape. This difference is also observed between us and our distant cousins, the monkeys.

Others ignore logic even more and go so far as to say that the coloring – black and white – and the environment of the panda make no sense – pushing this (non) reflection further, one could ask the question for cows or dalmatians… For others, who show videos of panda falls, the mammal is too “clumsy and stupid” to be real. Or again: “he has no objective on this Earth”.

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