Illustration Of Thai Cave Rescue Mission With Hidden Meanings Goes Viral

Image via Shutterstock

A stirring cartoon responding to the efforts taken to rescue the soccer team trapped in an cave in Thailand is gaining traction from internet users around the world.

Artistic duo SISIDEA—comprising sisters Aruni Aunhawarakorn and Jantima Manasviyoungkul from Bangkok—first conceptualized the image when news broke that the soccer team and their coach were missing, but it only materialized after the first successful rescue.

The drawing comprises 12 little wild boars and a larger one, as well as several other animals and ‘Iron Man’ swimming out of a cave. After its posting, the drawing was shared by the Royal Thai Navy on where it’s garnered 198,000 likes and 58,000 shares in less than 24 hours.

While adorable, there’s more than meets the eye because each character in the cartoon holds a special meaning. The boars refer to the boys and their soccer coach, while the white elephant in front of them represents Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue operations.

The white horse symbolizes every contributor of the rescue mission. “Everyone is a white knight,� the sisters explain.

The frogs refer to cave divers, the swallows represent Thai climbers, and the white seals are an apt wordplay on the Thai navy SEALs.

Additionally, the dog honors the K9 unit present at the scene, the dragon refers to the rescuers drilling into the cave to extract its waters, and the birds facing the animals symbolize the media.

There are also multiple homages to the countries assisting the mission. There’s a blue lion (Britain and Belgium), a kangaroo (Australia), a panda (China), a crane (Japan), a moose (Sweden), a tiger (Myanmar), a brown elephant (Laos), and an eagle (United States).

For good measure, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears in the image of an ‘Iron Man’ mask, since he’s built and sent a kid-sized submarine to aid the operations, with help from his engineering team.

The image isn’t all cheery, though. The single crow overlooking the situation refers to naysayers of the rescue mission.

Have a look at the meaningful illustration below.

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Posted by SISIDEA on Monday, July 9, 2018

[via SISIDEA, images via various sources]

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