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.
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.
As you can imagine, never ending teeth cause quite a few unique occupational hazards. The main threat though, is that they're so sharp if a rat takes a break from chewing they’re immediately driven into the rat’s brain and, alas, the rodent’s wits are turned to mush. Yikes.
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.
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.