5 Reasons to Love Capybaras, the World’s Largest Rodent (PHOTOS)

capybaraIf you've never heard of a capybara, you're kind of lucky. After all, who really wants to know that a real life ginormous rat-like creature exists because, well, that's exactly what the capybara is: A wild and rare massive rodent that has the face of a rat, the body of a hairy pig, and weighs up to 120 pounds. I'm serious, folks. The capybara isn't like Bigfoot or the Chupacabra ... it's for realsies, and it's swimming laps in a California water treatment plant.

It was spotted about two weeks ago at the water facility in Paso Robles, a city 175 miles north of LA in the California wine country. Since the capybara is native only to South America, officials think it's an escaped pet ... which means that a capybara is on the loose.

Well if the world's biggest rodent just wants to roam free and eat some vegetation and swim in some reservoirs, I say let it. I mean, he's kinda cute! Here are five reasons you should think so, too.

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capybaraI happen to love over-sized, overstuffed, enormous guinea pigs, so the capybara is really up my alley. I first fell in love with giant rats at Coney Island, where you can pay 50 cents to look in a cage and see a huge rodent. How enterprising!capybara

Are you still not with me? Still think the capybara is kinda gross? Come on, lighten up! Here's why you shall call him Squishy, and he shall be yours, and he shall be your Squishy.

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  1. The capybara can hold its breath for five minutes underwater. Can your dog do that? I know your cat can't. Put a harness on this thing and he could essentially be your jet ski, pulling you around a lake or pond tirelessly. He's got webbed feet, too, so you'll go fast. Fun times!
  2. An adult capybara can eat up to eight pounds of grass a day. Summer lawn mowing issues? Problem solved.
  3. If you like building stuff, what could be more fun than assembling the world's biggest hamster wheel for the world's biggest hamster-like mammal? Nothing.
  4. They are pretty fast runners, so you could totally put a saddle on it and ride your capybara to work. Like this woman.
  5. Hate to say it, but if things take a turn for the worst and you find yourself struggling to feed your family, well the capybara can be, uh, cooked for dinner. Its meat tastes like pork. Capybara: The other white meat.

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Have you ever seen a capybara?


Photos via ellenm1/Flickr, michaelfranks6/Flickr, allaboutgeorge/Flickr, Tim Strater/Flickr, PhillipC/Flickr

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