Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

In the movie The Princess Bride, the hero Wesley is attacked by fearsome Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS) in the fire swamp. Turns out, ROUS really exist!

Example of a Princess-Bride-era ROUS

i-a242adaf076288f6e5c21758121ecfa6-huge rat.jpg
Confirmed ROUS!

A new species of rat, the size of a large cat, was confirmed during a scientific expedition earlier this year to the Foja Mountains of western New Guinea, in a remote region where people have rarely explored. The expedition was reported in National Geographic and yielded other new species of flora and fauna (like a tiny possum).

“The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat,” said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

“With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip.”

Hat tip darkman for bringing ROUS-sighting to my attention.


  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 18, 2007

    Wouldn’t Nutria(Myocaster coypus) qualify as ROUS?

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 18, 2007

    Missed a close parenthesis there.

  3. #3 Anon
    December 18, 2007


  4. #4 Jon
    December 18, 2007

    I used to have pet rats (of the normal sized variety). I wonder if my landlord would let me keep an ROUS?

    Also, does this mean we now have to worry about fire shooting from the ground and patches of lightning sand?

  5. #5 Ghosty
    December 18, 2007

    You’ve obviously never been to New York City.

  6. #6 Homie Bear
    December 18, 2007

    Wow. I wonder if the beaver still gets the title for largest rodent? BAck in the ice age days there were giant beavers. And giant everything elses.

  7. #7 BMatthews
    December 18, 2007

    The rat is actually immune to iocane powder

  8. #8 Abby Normal
    December 18, 2007

    Whenever scientists announce they’ve discovered a new species my first thought is almost invariably, “I wonder what that tastes like?” But this time it was, “Imagine the investment strategy I could glean from that thing’s brain!” Thanks Shelley.


    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  9. #9 Dave Briggs
    December 18, 2007

    You’ve obviously never been to New York City.

    Posted by: Ghosty | December 18, 2007 12:40 PM

    I was thinking the same thing! LOL! I sure hope these don’t decide to try to beat that around the world in 80 days record! We would have to start genetically modifying the cats! LOL!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  10. #10 Gerry L
    December 18, 2007

    I’ve always figured the real ROUS was a capybara ( Whenever I see them in a zoo I exclaim, “Look! There are the ROUSes!”

  11. #11 Lab Lemming
    December 19, 2007

    Does the researcher holding the ROUS have six fingers on his right hand?

  12. #12 PhysioProf
    December 19, 2007

    I second the comments on NYC rats. Furthermore, that rodent the dude in the picture is holding is not “the size of a large cat” (unless the dude is eight feet tall and weighs 400 pounds).

  13. #13 Gingerbaker
    December 21, 2007

    Not to be picky, but that rat is not the size of of a large cat, it is the size of a small cat.

    Here is a picture of a LARGE cat! 😀

  14. #14 Shelley Batts
    December 21, 2007

    Wow! Now *that* is a large cat indeed! 🙂

  15. #15 Knight in Dragonland
    December 23, 2007

    Again, the Princess Bride proves oddly prescient.

    Never get involved in a land war in Asia! Oooops …

  16. #16 Blake Brockway
    September 19, 2008

    omg that is a small rat u r a bunch of pussys me, blake will kick all ure heads in, cum to shepton u rat fu**ers

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