For hundreds of years, we have been blaming rats for the Bubonic Plague, the disease that nearly eradicated the human race during the Middle Ages.
And who could blame us? Rats can be devious and disgusting!
Image Source: Wikia
They're dirty creatures that purposely tried to wipe out humanity so that their rat overlord could take over the New York City subway system. Or at least that's how we vilify them.
But it turns out, a different rodent is responsible for the Black Death:
Image Source: Etsy
Look into the top hatted face of death: the gerbil!
Recent studies suggest that gerbils may have been responsible for the whole disease fiasco.
So in honor of their exoneration, here are 9 cute rats that may change your mind about their species:
Image Source: Rebloggy
We'd cuddle you even if you didn't have that instructional sign, little buddy.
Image Source: Dose
How do they even make stuffed animals that small? #dying
Image Source: Redbubble
Guess they're real Jazz Rats!
Image Source: Dapper
Surprise: they're all cheese!
Image Source: UK Telegraph
We feel compelled to follow this rat wherever he goes!
Image Source: Abduzeedo
He's got a super popular Instagram feed.
Image Source: Izismile
Looks like we have some new contenders for the Alternative Puppy Bowl!
Image Source: Artist Insane
You can take my cheese, but you'll never take my FREEDOM!
Image Source: Instagram
The most famous rat on the Internet!
So next time you're waiting in the subway and see one of these furry friends scurry across the platform, don't freak out! They won't hurt you. Gerbils, on the other hand...
Image Source: Photobucket