Bizarre Chinese Ivy-Covered “Zombie Car” Needs Water, Fertilizer, Brains

Green transportation in China just got creepier thanks to an abandoned, ivy-covered van that's become a national social media sensation. Parked sometime in 2012 on Peace Road in Sichuan province's Huayang village, the overgrown vehicle became so encrusted with creeping ivy and thorny vines that police charged with removing it could not gain entry and ended up towing it away as is.

Village officials began receiving complaints about the unmoving blue van some time ago but efforts to locate the person who parked it have proved fruitless. Tracking down the original owner through the still-affixed license plates led investigators to Wang Ping, the van's original owner.

Wang was oblivious to the vehicle's status as a Jiangshi Che (“Zombie Car”, as such abandoned autos are known), however, because after selling the vehicle three years ago he lost touch with the buyer and couldn't offer police any information on his current whereabouts. The buyer didn't bother changing either the license plates or their registration after purchasing the van from Wang.

It took some time for residents of Huayang village to notice the van had seemingly been abandoned; parking not being an issue in the neighborhood. Time passed, seasons changed and vegetation slowly but inexorably began to engulf the vehicle to such an extent the color of its paint job could not be guessed at, even at close distance. Hey mister, you really don't want to get that close to a Zombie Car...

Images of the mossy motor vehicle snapped by astonished passersby began to be posted at China's many Zombie Car websites and on social media networks like SINA Weibo. If one ranks the “zombieness” of an abandoned auto by the amount of vegetation covering it, then the Huayang village Zombie Car is by far the zombiest of them all!

Alas, all good, bad and weird things must come to an end and the Huayang village Zombie Car is no exception. Police arrived on the scene one day in late October of 2013 equipped with garden shears and weed-whackers but to no avail: their tools were no match for the thick vine stems and copious sharp thorns that both imprison and protect the van from those who would try to reclaim it.

Eventually a tow truck was called in and the Huayang village Zombie Car left its long-term parking place with dignity – not to mention most of its living overgrowth – intact. (via and SRT Sichuan Radio and Television)