This week “Shower Rat” became a thing, but as more information has been uncovered, it’s apparent that the viral name is a misnomer. The “rat” is still in the same family, but it is actually a pacarana, a slow-moving rodent from South America that can weigh up to 30 pounds.
As the video of what appeared to be a rat bathing like a human spread, so did the backlash. Many accused DJ Jose Correa, who posted the video, of drenching the rodent in soap. However, he told UK’s Metro that he spotted the rodent when he was about to shower at a public bathroom in Huaraz, Peru.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Correa said. “It went on for about 30 seconds, and then he ran off. I think he just wanted to give himself a good clean.”
Though Dallas Krentzel, a biologist at the University of Chicago, told Newsweek that pacaranas probably still shouldn’t be covered in soap. But as Facebook user David Sobrá found, these human-like shower motions is typical.