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Rat-A-Phooey! That Ghost Ship May Not Be Infested With Rodents

The Lyubov Orlova sits derelict at dockside in Newfoundland in October 2012. Dan Conlin/Wikipedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Dan Conlin/Wikipedia Commons

The Lyubov Orlova sits derelict at dockside in Newfoundland in October 2012.

Dan Conlin/Wikipedia Commons

As creepily fascinating as the story may be, the tale about a "rat-infested ghost ship" supposedly headed toward Britain may need to be filed in the too-good-to-be-true category.

Our friends at Weekend Edition caught up with the salvage hunter who had been widely quoted saying that the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova might be filled with cannibalistic rats. The ship is thought to be drifting around the North Atlantic after snapping its towline en route to a scrapyard last year.

The salvage hunter, Capt. Pim de Rhoodes, is now telling a different story.

"Maybe if there were rats at all they'd probably died anyway because it's a year ago," he says. "They can't survive longer than four or five days without water and food, so it's probably empty."

And as for the ship being headed for the shores of the U.K., Smithsonian.com points out that it hasn't been sighted near there.

A website, "Where is Lyubov Orlova?" is trying to track sightings. It doesn't seem to have much to report recently.

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