Britain is currently trembling with fear at the prospect of an invasion of cannibalistic rats from the Russian ghost ship Lyubov Orlova, and Canada may well be to blame.

Shrieks of panic at the prospect of a rabid rodent invasion on U.K. shores permeated the Internet Thursday, as the abandoned ship was thought to have been propelled by dreadful storms thousands of miles across the Atlantic... From Canada.

See images of the Lyubov Orlova. Story continues below.

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  • <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheltieboulevard/sets/72157601684884512/?page=2" target="_blank">Rick Deveren</a> and his wife took an Arctic cruise on the Lyubov Orlova in August 2007.

  • The deck.

  • Their cabin.

  • <em>Next: Antartica Ship Rescue</em>

  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, the first group of passengers aboard the trapped Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalski arrive at a safe surface off the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, the first group of passengers of the trapped Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalski arrive at a safe surface off the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, passengers from the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalski, seen at right, prepare to board the Chinese helicopter Xueying 12 in the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the first group of passengers who were aboard the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalski, arrive at a safe surface off the Antarctic, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, the first group of passengers aboard the trapped Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalski arrive at a safe surface off the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, passengers from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy link arms and stamp out a helicopter landing site on the ice near the trapped ship 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia. Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, passengers from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in the ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, walk around the ice. Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • Akademik Shokalskiy. Ben Maddison Ben Fisk

    In this Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Ben Maddison and Ben Fisk from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy work to place a wind indicator atop an ice feature near the trapped ship 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia. Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, file photo, provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia. Passengers on board the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock, File)

  • DOUNIAMAG-AUSTRALIA-ANTARCTICA-RUSSIA-RESCUE

    This image taken by passenger Andrew Peacock of www.footloosefotography.com on December 29, 2013 shows a thin fresh coat of snow on the trapped ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy as it waits to be rescued. Passengers on the Russian research ship trapped in thick Antarctic ice faced an uncertain wait on December 29 for one last icebreaking attempt with no guarantees of success. The ship is carrying scientists and tourists who are following the Antarctic path of explorer Douglas Mawson a century ago, details of which at www.spiritofmawson.com, and have been carrying out the same scientific experiments his team conducted during the 1911-1914 Australian Antarctic Expedition -- the first large-scale Australian-led scientific expedition to the frozen continent. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO / MANDATORY CREDIT: Andrew Peacock / www.footloosefotography.com (Photo credit should read Andrew Peacock/AFP/Getty Images)

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, people gather on the ice next the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy that is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • <em>Next: Ships Aground</em>

  • People look at a cargo ship which ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (Photo/Alberto Saiz)

  • People look at a cargo ship ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

  • Two girls running in front of a cargo ship which ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia, Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

  • People look at a cargo ship ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

  • People look at a cargo ship ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

  • People look at a cargo ship which ran aground after a heavy storm at Saler beach near Valencia Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (Photo/Alberto Saiz)

The former Russian cruise ship was set adrift in international waters a year ago by the Canadian government, when an attempt to move the debt-ridden vessel from St. John's harbour (where it had languished for two years) to the Dominican Republic failed after the tow rope snapped.

NDP transport critic Olivia Chow told the St. John's Telegram that the decision to move the ship in the dead of winter was "benign neglect."

And that neglect, according to Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian-based marine missions specialist, could have turned the 4,250 ton ship into a floating hell hole.

“There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other," he told British tabloid, The Sun. "If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

Concerns that the ship—with an estimated salvage value of close to $1 million—could be an issue for the U.K. were echoed by Irish coastguard chief Chris Reynolds, reported the Telegraph. “There have been huge storms in recent months but it takes a lot to sink a vessel as big as that. We must stay vigilant.”

Last February, French environmental organization Robin des Bois castigated Canada for its actions and called for an international mission to secure the ship.

"Canada vandalizes the Atlantic through their lack of observation of maritime security and the improper disposal of their ships," the NGO said in a statement. "The high density of maritime traffic in the Atlantic, and existing high risk for collisions, demands the moblization of an international help and rescue mission to catch the Lyubov Orlova and move it to a secure place."

But while hysteria at the ship's arrival runs rampant—and, inevitably, a spoof Twitter account has been launched—there are some voices of reason trying to be heard above the panicked parapets.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, there is no evidence that the ship is anywhere near the U.K. nor whether "there are rats on the boat, or whether they're diseased, cannibalistic or perfectly civilized."

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