If you’re like me, you watched that viral video of a rat showering and felt a mix of confusion, hope, and disgust. Rats spend their days rummaging around garbage, swimming in Subway stew, and carrying diseases, so it’s nice to think that those filthy creatures are showering off after a hard day’s work. At the same time, it’s horrifying to imagine that they could be secretly sneaking into your shower to do so. Rats using my expensive, organic Dr. Bronner’s soap? No thank you. I had mice living in my closet for two months last year, and I still have nightmares.
But you can rest easy tonight friends, because that rat isn’t actually a rat, according to Newsweek. It’s a pacarana, a South American rodent that can weigh up to 30 pounds. The pacarana video was allegedly posted by DJ Jose Correa, who says he saw the rodent right before stepping into a public shower in Peru. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Correa told UK’s Metro. “It went on for about 30 seconds, and then he ran off. I think he just wanted to give himself a good clean.”
If you haven’t seen the video, it shows the pancarana washing itself while standing on its two hind legs like a human. The lathered little creature gets under the armpits, his back, his side—it’s a very thorough wash. Turns out that’s because someone put soap on the little guy, and he was trying to get it off.
As Newsweek reports, putting soap on the pacarana is actually harmful. Biologist Dallas Krentzel from University of Chicago also noted that this kind of movement from a pacarana is normal. Others have even posted videos of them standing on their hind legs and “showering” in the wild.
After #pizzarat was spotted crawling down subway steps with a fat slice (wow I miss 2015), rats have been caught doing all kinds of things. It’s not wild for the people of Twitter to assume that a rat could hit the showers too, but this pacarena is no rat, especially when it comes to size. These things can be as large as 18-month-old children, which is absolutely terrifying. Still, I will sleep better tonight knowing that some street rat will not be lathering up in my shower.