Mythical Baidu Deity | The Grass Mud Horse

In the desert of Mahler Gobi there lives a herd of Grass Mud Horse. Their diet consists of grass, and they’re able to adapt to harsh conditions as there is little water available in Mahler Gobi. The peaceful life of the grass mud horse is threatened by the encroaching migration of river crabs. A battle ensues and the crabs are defeated.

This seemingly innocuous story, and more specifically the grass mud horse itself, has become a global phenomenon. It’s thriving popularity is the latest expression of the Chinese Government’s online censorship policy . The catch is that the names of the animals and their indigenous region are homonyms for vulgar Chinese phrases that otherwise would have ensured any affiliated website the same fate as the 3,000 websites and 270 blogs shut down by censors in China as of last month.


In a recently published Language Log post about the grass mud horse, Mark Liberman, of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, sheds light upon this fabled creature’s linguistic roots and social implications. The article, and it’s many comments, will quickly bring one up to speed on this revolutionary beast’s struggle.

Photos Courtesy: chinakorea55 & Language Log

Other Resources

5 Fascinating Facts About the Hawaiian Language: A Look into its History and Significance

Hawaiian language, also known as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, is one of the two official languages of Hawaii. While the language was banned in schools after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1896, there have been revitalization efforts since 1978. Today...

Learn More

What is Heritage Language?

Individuals who speak multiple languages or live in multilingual households may have a “heritage language.” This term describes the language the individual speaks or hears at home, but it is not the dominant language spoken in the community. In the...

Learn More

Deaf Culture and Sign Language

With over 300 sign languages used in the world, there is a rich diversity of culture among Deaf communities. And in fact, deafness itself is not a prerequisite to participating in Deaf culture and community. Instead, cultural Deafness refers to...

Learn More

Contact Us

Get Started Today

Interested in our language services? Complete the form or call us during business hours (9 AM to 6:00 PM ET) at 800.895.8210.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Preparing for your test?

View our test prep materials or FAQ’s for common questions about taking a test.