Some workmen outside London discovered a monster recently. The creature, which was already dead when found on railroad tracks near a city playground, looked like a figment of the imagination that would've been best left there.
Are you ready?
Look at the hands. Look at the feet. Look at the shaggy fur, enough of it to adorn the most frightful bogeyman with a terrible rat-cap.
The man behind the photo, Tony Smith, gave an appraisal of the size, saying, "I've got a cat and a Jack Russell and it was bigger than both of those put together." He also explained, according to the BBC, that "We were going to stick it in the bin. But before we did we thought we better take a picture... people won't believe it's real."
Unfortunately for fans of massive, horrific beasts, Smith is absolutely correct: it's not real. Or, rather, it's real, but it's probably not as big as it looks. Twitterers and experts alike jumped to correct the assumption that if this rat was in New York, it would be capable of dragging a trash can instead of a pizza. Instead, it's a trick of perspective:
The Independent quotes Professor Steven Belmain from the University of Greenwhich's Natural Resources Institute, who confirms that there's no way the rat is actually that big. He says that the rat is "a fine large specimen," but nothing to run home screaming about. "All wild rats in England are Norway rats.... There are rodents in the Tropics such as cane rats that get that big, but there is no way a Norway rat will get that big."
The professor also says, "Part of the explanation is that people don't actually see rats very often or only catch a glimpse of them as they move so quickly, so when they do see them up close they are surprised how big they are."
What? Brits don't see rats on their subway tracks as part of their daily routine? Londoners, you are truly a blessed people. And not just because this rat is probably only large instead of ginormous.