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Sorry, but there's a big problem with that cute 'showering rat' video

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Dave Fawbert
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Shower rat

Overcoming the not-insignificant hurdle of actually being two words, the term ‘milkshake duck’ was named the 2017 word of the year by Macquarie Dictionary a few short weeks ago.

It was originally coined back in June 2016 by Twitter user @pixelatedboat in the tweet below:

We described the term as follows: “‘Milkshake Duck’ has essentially come to represent a phenomenon which keeps happening on the internet, where someone shoots to fame, before being shot down almost as quickly when it’s discovered they are somehow problematic.”

Well guys, as if to prove that the peeps at Macquarie chose very wisely, we’ve got another classic example of a milkshake ducking very early in 2018. Only this time it’s a milkshake rat.

The video below has been doing the rounds on the old information superhyperweb over the last few days - and why?

Well because it’s a super cute video of a super cute little rat having a shower just like a proper human! Look at him! Isn’t it really cute?

Well, yes it is cute. But, when you stop to think about it, it’s also quite weird. Because rats do not normally wash like humans. That is not normal rat behaviour. Which is, of course, the exact reason that it’s cute. Because normal rat behaviour - running through sewers, spreading disease, having massive ratty faces and massive thick ratty tails, training up ninja mutant hero turtles - is not very cute at all.

Gizmodo spoke to Tuomas Aivelo, researcher in Urban Rat biology at the University of Helsinki in Finland, who said: “The movements are pretty strange. 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 soap is, at the very least, uncomfortable for the rat to have on its body, could be an irritant, and when asked whether the rat was actually in pain, Avielo replied: “It’s totally possible.”

A normal rat grooming will involve licking and washing, in a similar fashion to a cat. The video above is not a normal rat grooming style. The rat does not like the soap being on him and is desperately trying to get rid of it. Which doesn’t sound like much fun.

Meanwhile, another Twitter user isn’t even convinced it’s a rat, but rather a pacarana from South America. However, the story is the same: “Someone covered it in soap, which irritates it, and the poor creature is trying to scrub it off.”

So there you go, official proof that we’re not allowed anything nice without some sort of awfulness going on behind the scenes.

(Image: Pixabay)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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