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Synchrotron X-ray radiography and tomography investigations of a custom-made polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell optimised for visualisation purposes are presented. The 3D water distribution and transport pathways in the porous carbon fibre gas diffusion layers (GDLs) were investigated. The authors found that water is not only moving from the GDL into the channel, but can also take the opposite way, that is, from the channel into free pore space of the GDL. Such movement of water into the opposite direction has been subject of speculations but has so far not yet been reported and might bring new insights into the general water transport behaviour, which might give new aspects to the general description of water transport processes and influence modelling assumptions to describe the process taking place in the GDL.