Rats have their amusing moments, but they're mostly grubby, gross nuisances that seem to exist to creep us out. That's why the news that given the proper conditions, a rat could grow to be as large as a cow is enough to set off a siren screaming, "NOPE" inside anyone's head. As Tech Times reported, it's just some skin-crawling science.
In fact, there have already been massive rodents on the planet, we were just lucky enough to not be around to fight them. Rat fossils recently discovered in East Timor were ten times larger than modern rats, researchers said, and only died out 1,000 years ago. And the largest rodent that ever lived, writes Tech Times, "weighed over a ton and was as large as a bull." Its memory lives on in the capybara, which can weigh up to 150 lbs.
And rats are growing bigger, resistant to pesticides, and steadily moving into urban areas as they are crowded out of their native habitats. The waste of a large city like London or New York is perfect for rats, since they always have something to feed on. All they'd need to grow to terrifying size, according to scientists cited by Tech Times, is "an ecospace where there are no larger animals" and it won't be long before they are gnawing their way through the door.
Sure, that's an exaggeration, but these studies do make us think it might be a good idea to start investing in taming larger and larger cats. Just in case.
Photos by Liz Bomford / Oxford Scientific / Getty