The plot sounds like something out of a horror movie: A ship teeming with diseased rats drifts toward the British Coast, putting millions of residents at risk.
In reality, the Irish Department of Transport said they believe the Lyubov Orlova, a cruise ship that has been adrift for a year in the Atlantic Ocean, has likely sunk due to “adverse weather conditions.”
Aidan Glover, a spokesperson for the Department of Transport, said officials arrived at the conclusion after they received “no positive reports or sightings” of the ship.
The last signs from the cruise liner were two beacons, which were sent last March and were presumably triggered when lifeboats hit the water, the Independent reported.
The ship was impounded in Canada in 2010 before it was decided last year that it would be towed to the Dominican Republic and sold for scrap.
During the journey, the tow-line to the tug boat broke and the Lyubov Orlova was lost at sea. Canadian authorities were reportedly able to harness it again later, dragged it to international waters and cut it loose.
Whether diseased, rat-eating rats were on board hasn’t been confirmed by officials, however the Hollywood-worthy twist has captivated peoples’ attention.
Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter, fueled the fantasy when he told the Sun, a British tabloid, that he expected, “There will be a lot of rats, and they eat each other.”
“If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison,” he said.
The lore of the Lyubov Orlova won’t be going away any time soon.
The 300-foot ship is worth an estimated $1 million in scrap, making it an attractive treasure for salvage hunters.