1st April, 2016

Astonishing new research has revealed that rats have been unfairly blamed for the spread of the Bubonic Plague across 17th century Europe.


The scientific community has been rocked by the recent study – published in this month’s edition of Journal of Deadly Diseases - which debunks the theory that it was infected fleas living on black rats that caused the most devastating pandemic in human history by carrying it from the Far East to Europe.


The shocking new findings came to light when experts at International Institute for Contagious Diseases, commissioned to carry out research for a new show at The Edinburgh Dungeon, uncovered evidence which proves another rodent, the cinobub, was the real culprit. 


While visiting a number of cites known to have been inhabited by people suffering from the plague in 17th century Edinburgh, experts came across tiny skeletons of the cinobub. Now extinct, the rodent was common across the world during the 17th century, but although its existence has been known for centuries, this is the first time it has been linked to the plague.


Professor Derek Eath, an expert in infectious diseases at the International Institute for Contagious Diseases said: “These findings shed new light on the bubonic plague and show that, for centuries, rats have been unjustly blamed for this devastating disease. Thanks to our meticulous research for The Edinburgh Dungeon, we are able to say without a doubt that the cinobub were the true carriers of The Black Death.”


However, Cindy O’Bubb at the Scottish branch of the Extinct Species Appreciation Society said: ‘We are examining the findings closely and would call for more work to be done. At this stage we are certainly not willing to concede that these peaceful furry creatures were responsible for such death and destruction.”


The new Deadly Diseases show at The Edinburgh Dungeon runs until 10th April and takes guests back to the disease-ravaged streets of the capital to learn the true facts about the plague and other historic ailments which inflicted old Edinburgh.


Find out more about Deadly Diseases!

“The Edinburgh Dungeon were awesome! The actors were funny and convincing, the timings were excellent and I even learned a few things. However, I had to keep hold of someone's hand because I was so sca…”

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