Cannibal rats on Lyubov Orlova stir global media sensation
The saga of the LyubovOrlova took a dramatic turn this week when international headlines reported that the vessel, along with its crew of cannibal rats, was drifting toward the coast of the United Kingdom.
The former Russian cruise ship has been adrift somewhere in the North Atlantic since breaking free of its towline to a tug boat last January while being transported from St. John's to the Dominican Republic, where it was to be turned into scrap metal.
Monitoring of the vessel since last year has been difficult, and no one has been able to pinpoint its location since it began drifting aimlessly.
Interest piqued across the globe after U.K. publication The Sun posted an article about cannibal rats aboard the 'ghost ship,' which was headed for the British coast.
The article quickly went viral, and news organizations took the sensational story and ran with it.
One Fox News segment with Sheperd Smith said the cannibal rats were about to "storm the shore," while some other organizations took a less-severe, if no less urgent, approach.
No real proof
U.K. news organization The Guardian was one of the few to rebuff the possibility of the menacing cannibal rats landing on British soil.
In an article on their website, The Guardian said the U.K. coastguard has not sighted the Orlova since April 2013, and that the ship isn't a worry for the country's politicians.
Talk of the so-called cannibal rats came from a Belgian scrap metal dealer, and the experts cited in The Sun story are never identified.
The Orlova hasn't appeared on any radar for nearly a year, and it's unclear whether the vessel is actually still afloat.
The vessel was docked in St. John's for more than two years before it was towed away on Jan. 23.