Eighteen policemen recently struggled for an hour in a river to recover what was initially mistaken for a woman's body, but turned out to be an inflatable sex toy at Wendeng in eastern China's Shandong province.
Officials said the toy's design and size was so similar to an adult female body that the policemen had to act. Shandong is an important center for producing sex toys in China and supplies them across the globe.
The police's efforts attracted a large crowd of onlookers that blocked traffic on a bridge last week.
Earlier, a Chinese TV channel reported about a "mystery mushroom" that also turned out to be a sex toy in Xian province. "As we can all see, this looks like a type of fungus, on both ends of which you'll find mushroom heads," a reporter intoned into the camera. "On this side, you can see what looks like a pair of lips."
The channel was forced to apologize after drawing flak over Chinese internet sites and blogs. "Please forgive our oversight," the channel said. "As our reporter was still young and unwise, this report has brought great inconvenience to everyone.''