The XX Factor

Brain Candy: A Real Rodent of Unusual Size!

In the middle of our workday we all need a little laugh, a little cute overload , a little pick-me-up. Which is why we are introducing an occasional post we’re calling Brain Candy. It’ll just be whatever amusing meme is whipping through our e-mails and Twitters. Today’s post is brought to you by The Princess Bride : real live Rodents of Unusual Size! Anyone who saw the Rob Reiner classic as a kid knows what I’m talking about. Those terrifying, gigantic, forest-stalking rat-like creatures populated many of my prepubescent nightmares. In any event, researchers in Papua New Guinea have apparently found a new species of giant rat and they’ve called it a Bosavi woolly rat. These rats are over 30 inches long and weigh more than 3 pounds. According to Smithsonian biologist Kristofer Helgen, “It’s a true rat, the same kind you find in the city sewers.” How … comforting.

Photograph by Bruce M. Beehler/AFP/Getty Images.