The Viral Photo Of Bowls Trapped In A Cupboard Was Actually Taken During An Earthquake

It was not taken by a "frustrated mother" in Taiwan.

A lot of people were left very stressed out this week as they wondered how they would open a glass cupboard with a set of porcelain bowls trapped mid-fall.

The photo first went viral after Taiwanese user Tseng Shao-Tsen posted it to a closed Facebook group over the weekend. It was then re-shared to a popular Taiwanese Facebook page, where it received more than 16,000 likes.

Facebook: 162608724089621

"The cupboard that can never be opened again."

People immediately flocked to the rescue with ever-so-practical solutions.

Facebook: 162608724089621

"You can open it~~ But make sure to take precautionary measures first~~ Lay a thick blanket on the floor or get a second person to hold the blanket by its four corners to catch the falling bowls. You should be able to save at least some of the bowls this way~~ Ahhh why did I spend so much time coming up with a solution~~"

Facebook: 162608724089621

"Tilt the cupboard back and then pull the door open (inward)."


"Looks like only he is quick enough."

Facebook: 162608724089621

"Sell it to the museum. Title it: the 'Frozen in Time' series."


"Might as well as just open it and enjoy the sound of the plates shattering on the floor."

Several local outlets then reported on the photo without speaking to Tseng.

On Wednesday, the Daily Mail published a piece in which it spoke to Tseng, who said the cupboard belongs to his friend who is a stay-at-home mom.

Tseng, who is from Hsinchu, Taiwan, said his friend was "shocked and frustrated when she saw what happened to the cupboard, so she wanted him to help her seek help from the internet".

According to Tseng, his friend ultimately opened the cupboard and saved the bowls by opening the door slightly, using her hand to hold the bowls and pushing the door further open.

The story was then picked up by several other media outlets.

The photo spread on to Twitter, where people made jokes.

However, the photo first appeared in a tweet a month ago by an account belonging to a hotel in Tottori, Japan, called Ryokan Suigou.

Twitter: @suigou

"If you open it, the plates will fall out."

The hotel owners, whose last name is Kishida, told BuzzFeed News that they took the photo on their phone after an earthquake in the Tottori Prefecture on Oct. 21.

Ryokan Suigou

They said the photo was of a cupboard in the Japanese-style hotel and provided a photo of the cupboard as it looks now.

They uploaded several photos on the account that same day showing them opening the cupboard.

Twitter: @suigou

"Collecting the plates by putting my arm through the slit."

Twitter: @suigou

"The door opened successfully."

Twitter: @suigou

"But the fight continues."

Twitter: @suigou

"Mission completed without breaking any. I'm glad I have skinny arms."

Tseng told BuzzFeed News that the photo he posted was the same as the one from the Japanese tweet.

He said he shared it because he thought it was funny and did not realize it would go so viral.

Tseng said he had told the Daily Mail that his friend had shared the photo with him, but claimed he was not aware that the person who he spoke to worked for the Daily Mail and said he was surprised to find that it had been reported as his friend's cupboard.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the publications mentioned in this article for comment.