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The Ugly Truth About The Rat King

The rat king was originally a German legend involving rats being interconnected by their tails. Because of the lack of evidence, scientists were skeptical about the existence of such a thing and whether it could even be possible if it does exist. But we now know what once was revered as a bad omen, is actually just a wheel of rats. 

rat king

For the past few months now, several scientists worldwide have been trying to create this so-called “King of Rats”. There have been several rat kings that have been presented to the public – a few even making them to museums including the Castle Museum and the Natural History Museum. Many have found this collection of rat tails in rat zoos and even up for grabs at local auctions.

The King of Rats has always been a scary story for children all around the world starting sometime around Medieval Times. The icon has been seen in some 16th century picture book and has even been included in popular culture. The animals have even been known and referenced as the Squirrel King, although we know this title to be false.  

The rat king is usually one of the most popular attractions to look at in zoos and many often travel far to have a look at the natural freak accidents. The knotted tails are quite a site to see. Rat-lovers are usually fascinated by how these rat kings can actually exist and some children would probably even wish that they had one for themselves if they ever see one.

The king on display has been a rat king ever since it was born and attached to a dozen rats. There are rat kings that have been caught in the wild and some that have been bred in captivity. Most recently a large batch was picked up at the U.S.-Mexico Border. The Crowd-Pleasing Specimen has been put on displays in many zoos. Who knows he might get his own comic book series!

Why is it called the rat king?

The rat king is named so because rat pups are physically attached to each other. It is a very rare occurrence and the visual of the animals being attached to one another creates an oversized formation that is extremely large and unusual to look at for the particular species.  

How do rat kings occur? 

Rat kings are born when female rats have been impregnated by male rats. Rat mothers always give birth to litters of rat pups no matter what species of rat that they belong to because rat gestation periods last for only two weeks. The rat pups are usually born with their umbilical cord attached to their bellies and there have been rat kings that have been seen being birthed when rat mothers give birth while they still have the baby connected to them.

Are Rat Kings Kept Secret?

Valid rat king facts are hard to find because rat zoos keep their rat king as a secret, they don’t allow the study of these rat kings, and people who own them won’t even tell you about them unless you pay an extremely large sum of money. Information on this breed is hard to find because rat zoos keep their rat king as a secret. They don’t allow anyone to study details of their lives, not even the collection of rats’ tails.

Do they live very long?

Rat kings don’t usually live very long since the mothers are not there to properly nurture them. This means that they die within a week and all the bodies start decomposing instantly. Some people think that rat kings live forever, but that is not the case. 

How do rat kings die?

The rat king starts to decompose when rat pups become very weak. Since their fur is very coarse and rat pups age rapidly, some of the rat pups start turning into rat hair after a couple of days. The rat hair then falls off leaving their bones exposed. The pups die and start to get eaten alive by the rat hair bugs. The dead specimen is then discarded. 

Rat kings can be found in rat zoos and museums, but it is very difficult to find rat kings as a pet for sale because rat zoos don’t want people breeding rat kings inside their grounds.