Deceptive Use of Perspective in Photo Goes Viral!

This photo of a “monster rat!” allegedly found in a Foot Locker store in the Bronx has become a bit of a sensation lately:

Rat

Wow! It’s huge! It’s being described as “three-feet-long” and “the size of a small dog”! And…it’s probably more like a foot long (body only), if that, because the old perspective trick is being played on us once again.

As you can see, the guy holding the rat (on some sort of scraper/shovel tool) is reaching to hold it up close to the camera, which makes him look relatively small, and the rat look relatively huge. (The same thing appears to be happening with the guy holding up the “monster rat!” on the pitchfork in the photo at this link.) More than that: The scraper/shovel tool might actually only be six or so inches across—how could we know from the photo?—which means the rat could actually be pretty small. Perspective is a powerful tool!

Much like this OHMYGOD THERE’S AN ENORMOUS CHILD LOOSE IN PARIS!!!

Don’t get us wrong: A rat with a body a foot long is big—but it’s not anything out of the ordinary. Brown or Norway rats (we’re assuming that’s what it is, since it is the most common type of rat in North America and much more of the world today) commonly grow to ten inches in length, and, as most New Yorkers can tell you, often grow larger.

So, how about them Mets?

 

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