By: Sloane Hughes
Whether you love them or hate them, it ‘s a well-known and undeniable fact that rats are very smart little animals. Most people ‘s experience with rats are generally, ehh, not great. Usually when we find ourselves in the company of a rat it ‘s in a dark alley that smells like B.O. and rotting lettuce, or at a questionable roadside diner, or inside an underground subway station that also smells like B.O. and rotting lettuce, and in any location, they always take us by surprise. They get a bad rap, and frankly it ‘s unfair! First of all, rats are adorable. Their tiny little eyes and twitchy whiskery noses are goddamn precious. And did you know scientists recently discovered that rats are ticklish and will laugh when you tickle them?! TICKLISH LITTLE SQUEAKY LAUGHING RATS?! SHUT THE FUCK UP. They ‘re also extremely talented, and as I mentioned earlier, very smart. I thought that I rats painting watercolors with their tiny rat feet was the peak, I saw that and said to myself, “well, that ‘s it, that ‘s the most delightful thing I ‘ll ever see, ‘ but then in swooped science with this stunning piece of news:
Rats love driving tiny rat cars.
Yep, scientists have learned that if you give a rat a car and teach it how to drive, not only will it actually succeed in operating a vehicle, it ‘ll have the time of its friggin ‘ life.
God I fucking love science sometimes.
A group of researchers from the University of Richmond in Virginia wanted to explore how enriched, stimulative environments improve cognitive function and the ability to learn complex tasks. And to do this, they built their rats tiny cars out of electric powered wheels and tiny plastic jars.
Oh my GOD.
The researchers called these itty-bitty cars Rodent Operated Vehicles (ROV), but why they didn ‘t go with Ratmobiles is beyond me. The electric wheels were connected to a copper bar inside the cabin, which once again is a trail mix tub, and by touching this copper bar the rats would be able to steer and propel the car forward. AND THEY DID.
LOOK AT THAT TALENTED LITTLE GUY GO! THOSE TURNS! AMAZING
They also discovered that not only is driving cars good for the rats ‘ brain function and problem solving, they actually find it relaxing.
So there you have it, rats like to go on a nice Sunday drive just like the rest of us.