Weird Nature
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11 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rats That Will Seriously Disturb You

Updated May 27, 2020 43.6k views11 items

If you weren't already terrified of rats, by the time you’ve finished this post you might be - or maybe it will just make you love them even more. There are a lot of horrifying facts about rats. From their bizarre eating habits to their favorite type of humans to bite (you read that correctly) general rat behaviors are the subject of nightmares for many people. 

And while some of these terrifying rats are, well, terrifying, this post is also for rat lovers. Because rats are rodents that deserve more recognition than they often receive. Did you know there are rats out there who risk their lives to sniff through land mines, identify tuberculosis, and even endure the sorts of outrageous experiments you’ve only read about in comic books? They’re smarter than you might have imagined but not quite as collapsible as you’ve been led to believe. 

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  • Rats Can Never Stop Chewing Because If They Stop Chewing They Die

    In case you were wondering how or why rats never stop chewing the answer is simple: teeth. A rat can live for up to seven years and for that entire time their teeth are in a continuous state of growth. In order to keep them healthy and sharp, and, of course, to avoid certain death caused by overgrown teeth, rats must chew on anything and everything they find.

  • Rats' Teeth Are Strong Enough To Cut Through Concrete

    Rat’s teeth are open rooted and their jaw muscles run all the way up through their eye sockets. This unique setup allows rats to chew through pretty much anything, even concrete and wire cages. These ever growing monstrosities exert approximately 24,000 pounds per square inch.

  • They Can Swim Up The Toilet And Bite You

    Thinking of flushing that pesky rat in your apartment down the toilet? Well, think again. Rats don't die in the sewer system. They thrive in the sewer system. They love toilets and small spaces and they are excellent swimmers. They can tread water for at least three days on average. The urine isn't much of a turn off for them either. Typically, rats pee about 80 times a day. But, that's not even the best part. There is video footage showing rats as they make that Olympic swim through the sewer system and up into your toilet. Think about that the next time you lift the seat and squat without looking.

  • Some Rats Have Pouches Like Kangaroos

    Photo: Gooutside / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The giant pouched rat can grow up to 18 inches in length and weighs a little over three pounds. This particular subspecies is responsible for spreading the monkey pox and is therefore not ideal as pets. Here’s a bizarro-world fact about this rat - in addition to its easily identifiable pouch, it can also smell tuberculosis, a feature that’s astonishingly more accurate and speedy than scientific testing.