Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London: Facts


Picture Suggesting Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London
Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London

Story: 

Giant four foot rat found in London.

Other Versions

A man in London found a rat bigger than a small dog and a cat put together.

Giant 4-foot-long monster rat found in children’s playground in London.

Analysis:

A story shared heavily online claims to show the picture of a Giant 4-foot-long Monster Rat found in a children’s playground in London. It is a fact that a large rodent was found in London, but the claim that it measured four foot in length is hoax as analyzed below.

About the Finding

In early March 2016, forty six years old Gas engineer Tony Smith saw the large rodent in a bush next to a popular children’s playground, while working at a block of flats in London. Mr. Smith asked his electrician friend James Green to hold the rat with a Selfie stick, while he took a picture of it. Tony Smith quoted about the rat saying, “This is the largest rat I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I’ve got a cat and a Jack Russell and it was bigger than both of those put together. I’d say it was about four foot.”

Size Exaggerated

Rat expert and Professor of Ecology at University of Greenwich, Steven Belmain suggested that all wild rats in England are Norway rats and said that the size of it may have been exaggerated. A close look at the picture also reveals that the rodent in the shot appears larger than what it actually is, simply because it is being held at a distance with a Selfie stick; close to the camera lens.

Picture Suggesting Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London
Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London

Oliver O’Brien, senior researcher and data scientist at University College London (UCL), calculated the size of the rat from the photograph and said that the “giant rat” is two foot rather than the “four foot” claimed in the press. He rightly said the shot is a Forced Perspective trick, and also told The Guardian (theguardian.com) that if the rat was really four feet long, then the man holding it in the picture would have to be 12-ft tall. The Guardian also reported that the picture of giant rat and story were provided by news agency South West News Service (SWNS), which when contacted stated that the size was based only on the statement from Smith and “clearly perspective plays a part in it”.

If you are still not convinced, shown below is a good example of forced perspective trick showing a small rat as a huge one. It comes from a Digital editor Daniel Bentley on Twitter:

Picture example of forced perspective
Picture example of forced perspective

So quite clearly, the pictures and stories saying a giant four foot rat was found in a children’s playground in London are hoaxes, the size is exaggerated. As we often say, do not believe in everything you see and read on internet. Verify before you confirm on the facts.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.

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Giant 4-Foot-Long Monster Rat Found in London: Facts