Laughing Rats – Day 292 – Infinite Monkey Cage

Today at work I’ve been listening to a podcast called the Infinite Monkey Cage (with Brian Cox!) all about science. It’s made me reflect on how awesome science is- and that I could incorporate it more. There are thousands of sciency stories to tell. Today’s is just short though- based on a study of rat laughter. I learnt that most mammals laugh and that it is learnt through social situations (particularly tickling). In the study there were scientists whose job it was to be “rat ticklers.”

Rita the rat never laughed. She grew up alone, and when she finally found other rats she didn’t know what the noise was. It wasn’t something she’d learnt. The others called her a freak, so she began to practice the noise in private, never really understanding the true joy of laughing. It never sounded right, so now she is a successful comedirat. She tours the sewers, creating laughter wherever she goes with her famous deadpan act.


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