Monday, November 10, 2014

Rat Kings For Monday Mysteries...!

When I first saw this article over at Listverse, I had to wonder if these things were natural or man made. If they were man made, the next obvious question was...why?

I kept thinking maybe it was just something from log ago, but with several found in recent years that thought flew right out the window. See what you think!

Rat Kings



Photo credit: Wikipedia

Several museums around the world contain bizarre once-living artifacts of a pseudo-legendary beast from the Middle Ages called a “rat king.” A rat king is formed when several rats have their tails fused together, whether by knotting or being somehow glued together. The result is a small horde of rats all facing outward from the central knot, presumably forced to act as one composite beast. The more fanciful accounts hold that one leader rat is suspended in the middle and acts as the “head” who directs the rest—a nightmarish notion, especially considering the fears of plague that rats conjure up.

The largest of these disturbing artifacts contains 32 of the little horrors and resides at the Mauritianum Museum in Altenburg, Germany. Some existing rat kings are mummified, while others are preserved in jars. Rat kings have been found in Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Indonesia. In every case except Indonesia, the rats were black: Rattus rattus L. In the case of Indonesia, they were small field rats: R. argentiventer.

As recently as 2005, a farmer named Rein Koiv found a rat king consisting of 16 individuals (nine of which were already dead) underneath the floorboards of his farm in Estonia, their tails glued together by frozen sand. Rat kings aren’t always composed of rats; mice kings and even squirrel kings have also been reported. In June 2013, an animal clinic in Canada received quite a shock when a city worker brought in six squirrels fused to each other’s tails by tree sap. They managed to save the plucky squirrels—their tails were partially shaved but they were otherwise intact.

To be honest, I hope I never find one of these things. Just to know they actually exist in the real world is more information than I want to know!

7 comments:

Chickenmom said...

I've seen pictures of snakes like that, but never rodents!You always come up with great articles, Mr. Hermit - this one is a doozy! We always learn something new here!

Mamahen said...

I've never heard of thesen..yuck....I agree on never wanting to see one, but at least now if I did I wouldn't be quite as shocked.

JO said...

Pretty disgusting looking but at least there dead. but it sure looks interesting can't deny that.

edifice rex said...

That is really, really bizarre. I would have never thought that could actually happen.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I think they were doing a square dance and got tangled up in a Dosado or an Allemande Left or. . . ???

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Always a shock to find something like this, that's for sure! Lots of strange things in this ol' world!

Thanks for coming over this morning!



Hey Mamahen...
Good to see you again! Yeah, it would be a shock to find something like this and not know what it was!

Thanks so much for coming over today!



Hey Jo...
Certainly NOT pleasant to look at, but as long as it doesn't move, that's a good thing.

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!



Hey Anne...
Bizarre is a good word for it. I don't want to find one, that's for sure!

Thanks, girl, for stopping by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Something sure got them all messed up.

Thanks for coming over today!