Fairfax falls for cannibal rats myth

Fairfax reports:

Disease-ridden, cannabalistic rats are adrift on an abandoned ship in the North Atlantic ocean.

The 91-metre Lyubov Orlova has been drifting towards the UK in the North Atlantic for a year after being cut loose off Canada, The Sun reports.

The exact location of the 40-year-old Soviet-built cruise ship is unknown but experts told the news outlet it appeared the ship was still afloat because four liferaft transmitters have not been activated, as they would have if the ship had sunk.

Rather than republish stories from The Sun without checking, they should, well, check.

The Star reports:

“The ship has sunk,” a spokesman for the Irish Coast Guard told the Star.

While admitting there is no 100 per cent proof — “You can’t prove a negative” — he said that two distress signals from the emergency position-indicating radio beacon are strong evidence. They only sound when immersed in water. …

“It’s a good exaggeration. It was berthed in Canada for over a year and there were reports while it was in Canada that it was infested by rats.”

Canadian rats.

“There is an urban myth that when a ship is headed east and has rats on board, they eat themselves.”

Canadian cannibal rats.

Canadian cannibal rats indeed.

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