Recently the internet has seen the presence of a viral video all over the social media which shows a rat-like creature taking soap laden shower with mannerisms that is completely similar to a human being. The video showed the rodent foaming the soap in his body which is what human beings do while showering to clean themselves. This uncanny similarity attracted a lot of positive as well as negative attention from the netizens.
However, this was far from the truth. Many theories from experts suggest that the netizens perceived this video in a wrong manner and what we see isn’t the case here. To top it all, the creature from Peru wasn’t even a rat. The cuteness and amazing similarity fooled the viewers, but experts suggest that the rodent standing in an upright position isn’t normal for them. This means the behavior is out of pain or panic.
The experts also confirmed that this rodent isn’t a rat but Pacarana which is native to Peru and brown. The pacaranas are rare rodents that are found only in Peru, Columbia, and Brazil. It weighs about 15kg while looking like a small version of the Latin America based Wombat. It also looks similar to the wombat but doesn’t derive any relation from the same.
The Pacarana seen in the video can easily stand on its forelegs because of the generations of adapting for food processing as well as foraging. However, there is no scope in the video for the comparison of the size as the video has been shot from a single angle.
A researcher at the University of Helsinki named Touma Aivelo suggested that the word “Rat” is used as a wide definition of anything that looks like it. The pacarana seen in the video derives close relations from the guinea pigs as well as capybaras rather than the rats.
Rodent experts also explained that the weight and size of the pacaranas make them easy to catch rather than a rat that could easily flee away. This is the reason; the person who shot the video could easily capture the creature without him running away.
As per the mannerisms that suggested the creature was taking a shower is nothing more than the rodent trying to get rid of the soap from his body that might have been put on him by someone. There is no way a rodent will put on soap himself and take a bath. The rodent might have been irritated by the soap and tried to remove it from his body.
The viral video that we find all cute and mushy could actually be a painful one for the animal. The pacaranas are herbivorous which means they feed on fruits, stems, and leaves. These creatures are nocturnal with a capability to dig through the strong claw it houses. Being easy to catch, these rodents move about in the night to be safe from predators.