That 'Shower Rat' Video Might Be A Lot More Problematic Than You Think

30 January 2018, 10:59

Shower Rat
Shower Rat. Picture: YouTube

By James Wilson-Taylor

The clip of a rodent washing itself has racked up millions of views but many people are questioning its authenticity.

By now, you have likely seen the Disney-esque viral video of a soaped-up rat stood up and having a shower, washing itself in a very human style:

The clip spread across Twitter this week with many high profile figures retweeting it and, on first glance, it seems absolutely adorable.

But, after previous rat-related hoaxes like 'Selfie Rat', many are calling the clip into question and picked up on one quite telling detail - the rat doesn't have a tail!

One commentor on the video enquired about this omission and, according to The Daily Mail, was met with a cheeky response from its creator:

"Hey! Don't take it too seriously, I did not say you were stupid, you are a smart person since you are the only one who is asking about the tail... it`s a humorous video, relax and smile in order to live longer."

Perhaps we aren't even looking at a rat - could this be some kind of puppet situation?

But, even if it is real, the rat does not appear to be cleaning itself at all...and that could be quite problematic.

Rats clean themselves using their teeth and tongue, typically lying down in a similar manner to a cat. So why does this video appear to show different? Tuomas Aivelo, researcher in Urban Rat biology at the University of Helsinki in Finland, spoke to Gizmodo about the clip which he believes could show an animal in distress:

"A rat wouldn’t do that unless there’s something it really wants to get rid of. I think it’s soapy all over. That’s probably a problem for the rat. It just wants to get rid of the soap."

The interview even suggests that the soap could be an irritant and was likely placed on the animal by its owner.

Metro tracked down the guy who filmed the video, Jose Correa, who claims that he spotted the rodent as he was about to take a shower and "would never want to hurt him. So I just filmed him and let him go."

What do you guys think? Is the clip for real? And is it cruel? Let us know your thoughts over in the Facebook comments.