Snow leopards are one of the rarest-seen cats in the world and it turns out? Even when they’re basically in plain sight, you still can’t see them!
It’s pretty hard to guess that such a strikingly-beautiful big cat would be so hard to find, but a photo that has recently gone viral is driving the internet absolutely bonkers.
Wildlife photographer Saurabh Desai posted a photo he’d recently snapped in the Spiti Valley located in Northern India. After posting it, it left people across the globe driving themselves mad.
When first looking at the photo, it appears to be the rugged, snow-dusted landscape. But as it turns out, there’s a majestic animal in the photo too. Front and center.
The photographer was actually capturing a snow leopard but its coat blends in and camouflages him perfectly into his surroundings. Can you spot the leopard?
The photograph is aptly titled The Art of Camouflage and Desai had been in search of this incredible cat high in the Himalayas.
“I was on my search of the world’s most illusive cat,” he told My Modern Met, “which is also known as ‘Grey Ghost’ in the popular local language.”
“I spent almost 3 years in search of this amazing cat,” he explains, “and when I found it up and close to me, I was speechless.”
Have you spotted it yet? If not, you’re not alone!
The locals in the area call this rare cat “Shan” and even they have a very hard time seeing them because they blend into their surroundings so well.
“I wanted this animal to be captured the way people have described it,” Desai told The Dodo. “They say that often they don’t see the ‘Shan’ but ‘Shan’ always sees them.”
Here’s a big hint for you…
Still having trouble? Let’s zoom in for you so you can see that the gorgeous cat was staring right back at you.
Pretty crazy, right?
This isn’t the first time Desai has ever captured a photo of the elusive and majestic snow leopard. It’s this photo, though, that caught so many people’s attention – because you couldn’t see the leopard hardly at all!
The other photos of snow leopards that Desai has documented aren’t quite as much of a brain teaser.
Of course, these photos are still just as attention-worthy because they are truly gorgeous. What an amazing feeling it must have been to be so close to such a rarely-seen animal in their own natural environment. Talk about life-changing.
The day that Desai captured the “hidden cat” photo, “the conditions for snapping this photo were anything but ideal. At an altitude of 17,000 feet, temperatures were -30°C and oxygen levels were at less than 50% than usual,” the Modern Met reports.
“The picture depicts the Snow Leopard trying to get off the cliff,” he recalls, “but observing our presence, it decided to wait until it got really dark and it stayed there on the edge.”
Let’s show you that original photo one more time. Is it easy for you to spot now?
We hope that Desai continues his work with snow leopards for years to come. The photos are simply beautiful. You can follow Desai on Facebook and Instagram. You can also view more of his breathtaking work on his website.
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