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Can you spot 'ghost of the mountain'? Internet stumped by camouflaged snow leopard

The internet was abuzz when IFS officer Ramesh Pandey shared a photo of a snow leopard camouflaged in snowy terrain.

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Can you spot 'ghost of the mountain'? Internet stumped by camouflaged snow leopard
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The human eye is capable of perceiving a broad spectrum of colors, yet it can often be deceived by optical illusions, which sometimes hide what is right in front of us. While these illusions can be intentional, they frequently occur in nature, where they can serve as camouflage for predators.

Recently, a striking example of this phenomenon captivated the internet after a photo was shared by IFS officer Ramesh Pandey on X (formerly known as Twitter). The image, taken by photographer Ryan Cragun from Utah, USA, features a snow leopard masterfully blending into a snow-covered mountainous landscape. This elusive feline, often dubbed the "Ghost of the Mountain" for its remarkable camouflage abilities, left viewers struggling to spot it.

Pandey's post, which quickly went viral, included the caption: “Phantom Cat. They are called the ghosts of the mountains. If you can locate.” This prompted a wave of comments from users expressing their frustration and amazement. One person noted, “It’s really hard to locate it, sir!!” Another remarked, “Indeed a Phantom... master of camouflage.” Some admitted it took them several minutes to find the leopard, with one user sharing, “It took me 10 mins to find the snow leopard!”

For those attempting the challenge, Pandey suggested that spotting the snow leopard within 10 seconds is a sign of having exceptionally keen eyesight, akin to an eagle's. The trick, he hinted, is to focus around the center of the image and look towards the top right.

These majestic wildcats are not just masters of disguise but are also stealthy predators. Their ability to blend into their surroundings allows them to freeze in place, avoiding detection by both prey and potential threats. Their sharp vision further aids them in navigating the rugged, snowy terrain they call home. 

If you’ve yet to spot the hidden snow leopard, don’t be discouraged. Many have shared your struggle. For those still stumped, here’s a hint: zoom in and carefully inspect the area near the center and towards the top right of the photo. With patience and a bit of persistence, the elusive “phantom cat” may reveal itself to you.

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