Quick question: What is this a photo of?
Some rocks and snow and ice? NOPE WRONG.
There is a very large cat in this photo, but he’s basically impossible to see.
Wildlife photographer Saurabh Desai posted this photo on social media. He snapped it in the Spiti Valley of Northern India. It’s the perfect demonstration of the “art of camouflage,” as he captioned the photo.
The cat in the photo is a snow leopard, an animal that’s native to the region and has evolved to blend perfectly into his surroundings.
Clearly. Because WHERE IS HE?
In this part of the world, the snow leopard is known as the “Shan.” Even locals have a hard time spotting them.
“I wanted this animal to be captured the way people have described it,” Saurabh told The Dodo. “They say that often they don’t see the ‘Shan’ but ‘Shan’ always sees them.”
Wild, because once you zoom into the photo, you can see that the cat definitely IS staring at the photographer.
Give up? Okay, here he is.
This photo is more than just a fun visual puzzle. For Saurabh, it was the culmination of years’ worth of hard work. He’s captured many other wild animals over the course of his career, but snow leopards had remained elusive (for very obvious reasons!).
“I spent almost three years in search of this amazing cat,” he said. “When I found it up and close to me, I was speechless.”
Luckily, he was able to capture an extraordinary image that shows the world just how special these cats are.