During the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, there was lavish spectacle in spades. But nothing quite galvanized the Internet like the reveal of the three massive animatronic Sochi mascots. The hare and the leopard were mostly spared the wrath of the masses, but the polar bear seemed to catch everyone’s eye. And not in a good way.
#1: The first thing social media noticed were Polar Bear’s (actual official name) sleepy eyes.
So the Sochi Olympics mascot is either baked or rubbing one out! pic.twitter.com/0NNcUejEPD
– John Snyder (@jcsnyd) February 7, 2014
#2: Of course, some took his huge stature as a sign of ill-intent.
Behold! The Russian bear of oppression! pic.twitter.com/WuEI7T5J6F
– Zumoro (@ZumoroH) February 7, 2014
#3: While others were certain we’d seen this guy somewhere before…but where?
We thought we recognized that Sochi bear pic.twitter.com/zGS28TUjVK
– 961 KISS (@961KISS) February 7, 2014
#4: Almost 100% sure this is not the reaction Russia’s crack team of mascot designer were going for.
– olia lialina (@GIFmodel) February 7, 2014
#5: How can Russia have so many anti-LGBT laws and bear as their Olympic symbol?
– Lawrence Miles (@Lawrence_Miles) February 7, 2014
But it wasn’t all vitriol aimed at the nightmare bear on stage…
#6: Wow. Very likeness. Much uncanny.
– Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) February 7, 2014
#7: Even the costumed Polar Bear looks like he’s about to murder you with his vacant stare.
– Nacho Punch (@NachoPunch) February 7, 2014
#8: OF COURSE he gets handsy. Even with a dead-eye upgrade to cross-eyed, Polar Bear is creepy.
– Mitch Whitmore (@WhitmoreUSA) February 7, 2014
#9: Though Reddit discovered this Bear has always been a little unclear on “personal space”.
Photo via Reddit
#10: Pretty sure these mascots just accepted a small village’s offering in exchange for another year of peace.
Sochi Mascot, Nightmare Bear, will haunt your dreams. pic.twitter.com/8FPl94RoQO
– Gellman – SCU (@SCUncensored) February 7, 2014
BONUS! #11: Of course this is all just in the grand tradition of nightmare fuel Olympic mascots.
– Rizalyn Reyes (@ReeseRM) February 7, 2014