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The Lair Of The Rat King

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posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 12:37 PM

Originally posted by Silver Star
reply to post by Afterthought

It does have a bit of an urban myth quality to it. You could be right.

I dont discount the possibility of it being real though, so i think i'll try and dig up some more info.

More info would be great.
I just can't stop thinking about that recent news story where that guy cut off his own arm because it was wedged behind the water heater (I think). Rats are certainly capable of the same.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 09:05 AM
Some interesting info here:

Rat King - Weird Encyclopedia

The earliest report of rat kings comes from 1564. With the displacement of the black rat by the brown rat in the 18th century, the phenomenon has died down. For instance, since the beginning of the 20th century, there have been fewer sightings of rat kings, the most recent find dating from April 10, 1986, and comes from a French discovery in the Vendée.

And it's not only rat kings that have ben found!

The "rat king" arises particularly in the black rat (Rattus rattus). The only find involving sawah rats (Rattus rattus brevicaudatus) occurred on March 23, 1918, in Bogor on Java, where a rat king of ten young field rats was found. Similar groupings arise occasionally in other species: in April 1929, a group of young forest mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) was discovered in Holstein, and there continue to exist reports of squirrel kings, of which the Zoological Institute of the University of Hamburg allegedly have a specimen.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by Nammu

Brilliant. Thanks for digging that up.

It doesnt say much for my investigative abilities does it? I put the post up and other people do all the research for me! Im very grateful for your help in digging out the info and it makes interesting reading.

I am now convinced of the genuine nature of the phenomena as i have read that there is evidence that the rats tails continue to grow after rat king entanglement, and there are a few case studies that seem to take it seriously.

Also, in regards to the question that other posters have put about why the rats dont just nibble off their own tails to escape, i think there may be a simple answer to that. Looking at the pictures, i dont think the rat can bend round far enough to do it!

Thanks once again!

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:38 PM

Originally posted by Afterthought

More info would be great.

Actually, after looking at the pictures again, I can't help but think that LESS info would be great too! Hehe.

But, yes, I have to admit that I have done some searches for info since I saw this thread.


posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by Mr Pliskin

I dont think i ever want to see a rat again in my whole life!

I wasnt bothered by them before, but i am now. Perhaps you are right - ignorance is bliss and all that.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:46 PM
This is definitely my odd story for the year. How odd.

Like others said, since rats are 'gnawers,' you'd think they'd chew through their tail before living/dying like that.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Yes, you'd think that when it comes to a choice between actually dying or biting their tails off they would choose the latter option.

Perhaps some instinct prevents them doing so.

[edit on 24-6-2010 by Silver Star] (atrocious spelling!)

[edit on 24-6-2010 by Silver Star]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:08 PM
Rat kings are real - just so rare and duisgusting that nobody can be bothered being 'that guy who dedicated his life to discovering why rat kings form'. Just imagine that on your tombstone.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:36 PM
I have kept and handled rats, I know them inside out, rats tails becoming intertwined is physicaly impossible. Their tails are made up cartelege & gristle, bending it or 'tying' it would cause the rat immense distress & pain. The tail does NOT bend to the degree required to tie up in knots.

My theory on 'rat kings' is a litter of babies born this way, like siamese twins if you like. I doubt their life is long or enjoyable, once one rat in the 'king' died, the others would either cannibalise it, or it would carry infection that would wipe the group out. Also their ability to outrun predators would be seriously hindered, if at all possible, they would fight to the death if nothing else.

I think the German one is a fake, conjoined litters is possible, but highly rare, and the whole rat king thing is coined to cause the fear of rats more than anything else.

On the whole, domesticated rats are pretty sweet, hundreds of them are bred every day, so if this was at all common, it would happen in captive bred rats as well.

The 'dumbo' rat is very adorable, although again, it is an exploited fault that could well have serious implecations in further generations. Maybe as this goes on, we'll see a man made 'rat king'.

Also, please remember at the time of the German mummy one, the fear and paranoia about rats was extreme, creating such a fake back then, nobody would have questioned it, the fear was already there, and someone jumped on the bandwagon. Perhaps a rat catcher with no fear of the rodents decided to somehow bind them together one night after too much ale? just a thought, on the skeptical side of things.

[edit on 25-6-2010 by The Chez]

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by The Chez

Hi The Chez,

I kept rats myself for years and also wondered if this would be true. I believe the domestic rats we kept would be varieties stemming from the Norwegian Brown rather than the Black Rat. From what i've been reading Black rats have longer, more flexible and more prehensile tails, which would explain why the reports or Rat Kings deminished in line with Nowegian rat displacing the brown.

I found this really good paper on the most recent Rat King discovery in Estonia in 2005

Rat Kings in Estonia

There's some interesting points raised in this.

On the basis of the data presented above, the following conclusions may be

1. Estonian finds support the hypothesis that the rat kings knot is created after the rat tails are glued or frozen together at least two kings out of three were found in very cold winters.
2. Analysis of the worldwide geography of rat kings finds demonstrates that with one exception (Java) they occur in the regions where two factors coincide: cold winters and the presence of the black rat.
3. Estonian finds suggest that the occurrence of rat kings may be more frequent than presumed. Not all rat kings that arise are found by people, and not all finds are reflected in the press, much less in scientific papers.

This subject is so interesting. Although I also find it hard to believe that any rats could be stupid enough to get their tails tied together!

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 01:22 PM
Maybe it's a game that rats play.
Maybe it a precursor to having a rat orgy.
Maybe the kinky rats get together as a group, stick their tales out and start playies footsies with their tales in an attempt to latch on to a partner.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 05:15 PM
I find this to be a rather hard tale to swallow.

If it were true I'd expect the rats to not chew off their own tail to get away, I'd expect them to chew off the other rats' tails to get away.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:19 AM
Super Glue and Twister don't mix. That should have known it was a terrible idea even if they are rats.

It was more prevelant b4 the brown rat replaced the black rate. Their tails can become bound together with dirt, blood, excrement, etc... One was found in New Zealand bound by horse hair and feces. The ones in your pic survived for awhile, they found callouses.

Someone said a rat's tail was gristle and cartilage. That is incorrect. A rat's tail has 3 layers. The innermost is bone, vertebrae. The middle is tendons with blood vessels running between the tendons. The outer layer is skin.

When the rat's body temp increases a few degrees the vessels in the tail expand. The tail serves as a heat loss organ... When the temp cools, the vessels contract. So I imagine if there were a high density of rats and it were cold and the tails intertwined then their body heat caused the tails to expand a bit it combined with the hardened excrement, blood etc... I can see how they could become permanently bonded.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by DrJay1975

That would seem to be the most comprehensive answer, especially given the correlation between rat kings and cold weather that Nammu highlighted earlier.

Thank you for adding that. Mystery solved?

posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 08:29 PM
very strange how do they get about i wonder

posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 10:41 PM
Very interesting. It has been a long time since something so original has been posted. However, I am not sure how rat tails would become entangled since they are very thick and don't really bend in a way that would cause them to become entangled. The idea of an 'elephant graveyard' is intriguing since it could be possible that if a mass death of rats happened their tails could become mummified and entangled? hmm?

posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 04:06 PM
Perhaps Some kind of ritual craft,
(rats are collected, put to sleep, tied up, and what rage their telepathic intelligent wake minds radiate collected or directed on to.. )

But yeah, can you imagine to decode humans, from all the information that has been collected from all the nature from eyes of trees to frees.. who we are why we do ? If any of these traits are originally only on humans, this might be big wonder for the Eye itself.

Rats Temple in India (or tourist, trap)

posted on Jul, 23 2013 @ 08:29 AM

Originally posted by Alxandro
What a horrible way to go.
The harder you try to escape, the tighter the knot gets.

Maybe someone from India can chime in, they really love rats in India.

This is also know to happen with worms. They stick into Themselves creating a huge nest. They try to escape but create more knots and end dying. They don't see to posses any intelligence to escape on situations like this as we humans do. I don't remember almost dying because my shoes decided to knot for themselves

Anwyay here's an example with worms:

edit on 23-7-2013 by Frocharocha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2013 @ 05:44 PM
I find it rather odd that their tails can get tangled like that. But hey, antlers can get tangled so why not rat tails. Someone else pointed something out that made a lot of sense, the rats look like they are fully grown, so what did they have a little get together and accidentally get tail tied?

It kind of makes me wonder if for some old religious, or superstitious belief, someone knotted the rat's tails up as opposed to some freak accident. Just a thought.

posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 10:49 AM
I know from experience rodents can be born with theyre tails all attached, I found 6 squirrels all attached by the tail. They mustve been about a month old.
How they survived i dont know but they were buried under branches in a brush pile.
They couldnt coordinate theyre movement, as every squirrel tried escaping in a different direction so we called animal control who then, very forcefully i might add, clipped the tails at the base and let the last one walk away with a large mass of fur attached to its tail.
The humor of the situation is when they started hopping like rabbits right away after removing the tail, climbing small eared tree rabbits. I would add the picture but dont know how to on my phone.

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