WhatsApp has a media visibility feature that, if disabled, hides media files from the phone gallery. It is claimed that it apparently reduces file storage.
But WhatsApp still has to store the media in one place, otherwise, how would that show up in the discussions. I can access the media while scrolling through a WhatsApp discussion, even offline, so that the media is permanently stored somewhere on my phone. Can I access this place? I need to access many media files that WhatsApp must have downloaded somewhere on my phone.
I also use WhatsApp on my Android One Plus 5 phone. It creates a "999" directory under emulated.