Tibetan authorities believe they have found the body of influencer Wang Xiangjun, better known to his fans as "Glacier Bro." The 30-year-old adventurer and environmentalist, who was also known as the "glacier chaser," went missing in December and was presumed dead after he was last seen on video losing his balance and falling into icy waters while visiting his "favorite glacier waterfall."
After a large search was undertaken following his disappearance, local police in Lhari County announced on March 18 that a body had been recovered on March 14. While an exact identity has not been determined, the South China Morning Post reports a notice posted on Wechat by authorities said, "After initial investigations, the body seems to be that of missing person Wang Xiangjun." The notice added that authorities "are in the process of further identifying the body according to legal procedures."
The discovery comes after Xiangjun first went missing on December 20, 2020, while exploring a glacial waterfall in Lhari County, northern Tibet. Footage posted on Chinese social media platforms showed the 30-year-old losing his balance while climbing near the base of the waterfall, BBC reported at the time. The video showed Xiangjun slipping "into fast-flowing icy waters." It had also been reported that Xiangjun's friends who had accompanied him on the trip had attempted to rescue him and had also been dragged into the water. According to reports, they were able to safely make it back to shore, though they were unable to locate Xiangjun. A search was quickly launched, though a member of the rescue team told China's state-run Global Times "he could be under an ice floe. The water is 10 to 20 meters (32 to 65 feet) deep," and it was "almost impossible" that the influencer was able to survive. Just days later, Xiangjun's brother shared a statement confirming his death.
"My brother... lies forever in his favorite waterfall. I hope everyone does not hype up [his death] and respect the deceased," the statement, shared to Xiangjun's social media account, read. "For all of his life, he was obsessed with glaciers and gave his life to glaciers. This is the best resting place for him."
Born in rural Sichuan province to a family of farmers, Xiangjun's fascination with glaciers began at a young age and continued into adulthood. After abandoning regular work, he began traveling, documenting his visits to glaciers on social media. He became dubbed "Glacier Bro" and amassing 6 million followers on his Kuaishou and Douyin — China's Tik Tok — accounts. He was also known in China for photographing more than 70 glaciers in seven years, and in 2019, he delivered an impassioned speech at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference. After reports that his boy had been recovered, fans took to social media to pay tribute, with one fan, according to the Independent, writing, "Rest in peace in the glaciers that you love so much."