‘Fleshy’ Pic Seen on Politician’s Phone, Hunt Leads to Gordon Parks Photo

Here’s a strange story that shows the power of Internet crowdsourcing in doing unusual reverse image searches. It all started with a blurry, seemingly questionable photo seen on a smartphone in the hands of a politician in the UK Parliament.

Mashable reports that after the UK Parliament returned to the Palace of Westminster after last week’s general election, MP Anna Soubry Tweeted a photo of the packed chamber:

But Soubry abruptly deleted the photo less than an hour after it was posted, apparently because people began wondering what the MP sitting in front of Soubry was looking at on his phone.

The photo that was deleted.

People wondered whether the politician was looking at questionable material in the chamber, as the photo looked quite “fleshy”:

The Twitter community began Retweeting the photo hundreds of times in hopes that someone would recognize the scene in the photo and be able to correctly identify what the MP was looking at.

Amazingly, the answer came within hours:

It turns out it’s a photograph titled “Showgirls at Work and at Play,” shot in 1958 by renowned American photographer Gordon Parks. It shows showgirls in New York’s Latin Quarter playing chess backstage.

“Showgirls at Work and Play.” Gordon Parks—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

So, no, the politician wasn’t doing anything questionable in Parliament: he was simply enjoying a photograph by a master American photographer.