This rat is real. A reader sent in this photo from her commute home on the 6 train tonight, telling us: "A lot of people were moving to other cars. He was playing with it and as soon as I went to take a picture he put the rat in his mouth!" Is this man single-handedly responsible for controlling the underground ratdemic? And on a scale of "1" to "Unclean!"—how much worse is this to witness than someone digging into a bag of malodorous McDonald's on the subway? We apologize for any nightmares this image is going to give you—let's just pretend he went home and sang the below song to his special rodent friend.

UPDATE: A new photo of this man and his rat has surfaced. The reader who sent it in tells us he took it last week in front of the Starbucks on Canal, noting, "The rat's name is Big Balls. The guy has it written on a piece of paper he shows tourists when they ask." So now check out the photo and answer us this: what are the chances this guy waxes his rat's balls?