An 11-year-old boy wearing a green fish mask has gone viral on Chinese social media for dancing like a maniac in a CCTV live broadcast on December 8. The comical scene unfolded during a news report about people queuing for state-organized nucleic acid tests after a Covid-19 outbreak in the North China autonomous region of Inner Mongolia.
The fish boy was among those waiting in line for a test, and his dance certainly stood out to CCTV viewers, given that the state-owned media outlet tends to maintain a serious tone.
In the footage, the anonymous youth freezes for several seconds when the camera turns to him. He then quickly realizes it’s time for a show — dancing like a hopped-up raver until the camera switches to another person.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by RADII (@radii.china)
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The clip went viral after a netizen posted it to Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, on December 8, where it has garnered more than 40,000 likes at the time of writing. Meanwhile, netizens viewed the hashtag ‘The green fish head on a live CCTV broadcast’ (#央视镜头下的绿鱼头#) more than 45 million times.
A couple of days after his TV debut, the youngster told an online news outlet that he wore the mask to spread happiness to the epidemic prevention staff.
“At that time, I saw many people watching me, and I felt a little embarrassed. [I thought] dancing could ease the awkward atmosphere,” he said.
Screengrab via CCTV
The fish-head mask gained fame from the 2015 Korean film Collective Invention, which follows the story of a man transitioning into a human-fish hybrid after a medical experiment gone awry. The mask can be purchased on the Chinese ecommerce platform Taobao for less than 1 USD, shipping included.
It is now among China’s most beloved face masks, and many users of Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, have created comical videos while wearing it. Some people have even demonstrated how to eat and drink with the unique mask on. (Spoiler alert: you can fit noodles in any of the mask’s three holes — nostrils or mouth. Though we’re not saying you should.)
Cover image by Sabina Islas
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