Rats Can Play Hoops? (No, Not Stephon Marbury)

Everyone needs a break here and there from the toils and tribulations of the day-to-day, moment-to-moment stress that envelops much of everyday life. Which is why, as a public service, we’re taking this opportunity to halt our constant stream of late-breaking, gritty investigative journalism to bring you the following: video of rats playing basketball.

Rat Basketball

(I’ve heard about “gym rats” before, but this is ridiculous!)

Heureka, a science center in Finland, have begun teaching rats how to play basketball. (Well, dunk at least; none of them are pulling up for Js.) The trick to how they train these simple-minded creatures to play one of the more complex sports in all of creation? Give them lots and lots of food.

The story comes to us from today’s substantial link collection over at Henry Abbott’s TRUE HOOP blog, and the video is after the jump.

This above video is from 2007 - what else is already on the Internet we don’t know about? - and shows a relatively friendly game of one-on-one between two rats. Notice how neither of them are playing much defense. Just like the NBA!

The second one shows the rats being more aggressive here and there, trying to steal the ball from the other and playing a little defense. It could be that they’re evolving and learning that there’s more to the game than just the offensive side. Or, it could be that the rat trainer is just being stingy with the food. Looks like someone needs to unionize!

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