From Sky News to The Telegraph, via The Mirror, The Metro, The Sun and the Evening Standard, UK media outlets were falling over themselves on Friday to report the find of a 'giant rat' in East London.
"Rat 'as big as a four-year-old boy' found in London", reported ITV News, where clearly nobody has ever met - or even been - a four-year-old boy.
The story was accompanied by the now obligatory 'forced perspective' photo that accompanies all such 'giant rat' articles (somebody holds the rat away from their body and close to the camera ideally at the end of a long stick to exaggerate its size as much as possible).
Friday lunchtime must have been kind to a few news desks because there was certainly no shortage of outlets repeating claims the rat weighed "25lb" and was "four-feet long". For the whole of Friday afternoon is was as if the media had turned into a pub full of boozed-up anglers whose sense of scale had been forever warped by tall tales of 'the one that got away'.
Few of the outlets that ran the story questioned the obvious forced perspective of the photo or thought it odd the gas engineer and electrician who found the rat had apparently weighed it.
"James, I’ve found a rat."
"Wait there Tony, I’ll get the scales."
Similarly nobody questioned the not-unimpressive physical feat of somebody posing for a photo while holding a "25lb" weight (11.3Kg), one-handed at the end of a stick (try picking up a 25lb dumbbell with a litter picker and holding it at arms length, see how you get on).
After the story had been all over the media on Friday, all that was left was for the Daily Star (the home of giant rat stories) to run it on Saturday's front page and claim it as an "EXCLUSIVE":
Hackney Council has been doing its bit to dispel 'giant rat' panic by pointing out how deceptive forced perspective photos can be.
Other Twitter users were also quick to get in on the fun.
Only one cat can deal with London's giant rats pic.twitter.com/xaIURl9dJs— tom jamieson (@jamiesont) March 11, 2016
And the apparent confusion over perspective put many in mind of this classic Father Ted scene.