The mystery of Myanmar's missing umbrella

  • 20 March 2015
Can you see what's missing here? Image copyright Facebook/Myanmar Ministry of Information
Image caption Can you see what's missing here?

A missing umbrella has amused social media users in Myanmar.

It was a routine official visit to Kawthaung in southern Myanmar by deputy minister Su Su Hlaing and her team. And after arrival the Ministry of Information dutifully uploaded pictures of the visit on their Facebook page.

It's not exactly the kind of content that lights the internet on fire. But then some sharp-eyed users noticed a mysterious shadow on the ground near Hlang in one of the photos. They quickly concluded that an umbrella had been airbrushed from the hand of the man holding it over the minister. But whoever altered the image apparently neglected to remove the umbrella's shadow:

Image copyright Myanmar Ministry of Information / Facebook

The original picture has since been removed from the ministry's Facebook page, but not before hundreds noticed, shared and commented. "The information (department) wants to deceive but it is not very tidy (or clever enough)," posted one Facebook user. "I want to buy a magic umbrella to make myself disappear," another joked.

Image copyright
Image caption A photo of an earlier visit published on the ministry blog did include umbrellas

On Twitter, some pointed out that the minister's umbrella was not the only one missing - another shadow and suspended hand are visible behind a woman wearing sunglasses and a white shirt towards the centre of the photograph.

The ministry has not commented on why the umbrella was allegedly airbrushed out of the photo. But our colleague Ko Ko Aung from BBC Burmese has one theory: "In Burmese culture, it is considered embarrassing for a man to hold an umbrella for a woman." BBC Trending contacted the Ministry of Information and we'll provide an update if they respond to us.

Blog by Samiha Nettikkara

Next story from BBC Trending: 'I will go to Tunisia': tourists pledge visits after attack

Or maybe you'd like to look at: How 'Laughing Man' spread around the world

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending, and find us on Facebook. All our stories are at