Trivia

Hard

An Entanglement Of Rats Is Called A?

Rodentia Knot
Sewer Mass
Splintering
Rat King
A rat king found in Dellfeld, Germany in 1895.
Edelseider (Derivative Work – Lampel)/Wikimedia

Answer: Rat King

One of the joys of tirelessly researching trivia big and small is the sheer scale (equally big and small) of the curiosities you come across in the process. One particular curiosity is that of the “rat king” which, if both historical and modern accounts are to be believed, is the result of rats becoming entangled while nesting.

The premise, while somewhat absurd at first glance, is backed up by multiple accounts. When rodents nest together, there is a rare but real chance that their tails become entangled in some sort of hellish Edwardian knot from which they cannot escape.

Historically, such events (and the evidence thereof) were dismissed as hoaxes perpetuated by pranksters and sideshow artists looking to make a quick buck, but there are contemporary examples of rats, squirrels, and other members of the rodentia order finding themselves helplessly entangled. In 1951, for example, a zoo in South Carolina had to deal with a “squirrel king” of tangled up squirrels and in 2013, Canadian veterinarians undertook the task of untangling more squirrels.

So how exactly does such a bizarre state occur? While there were plenty of superstitious and supernatural theories in centuries past, the most accepted modern answer to the bizarre state of rodent entanglement is that under certain conditions (such as in freezing weather), bodily (or other) fluids may bind the tails of nesting animals together and, upon discovering (and panicking) that they are bonded together, the frantic movements they employ in an attempt to break free further worsens the entanglement. Regardless of the mechanism of action, we can all be thankful that our final hours on this Earth aren’t spent with our tails inexorably interwoven with our kin.

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Board Game Has Specific Provisions For The Inclusion Of Smoking?

Trivia

Hard

Until The Mid-20th Century, It Was Customary For All New York City Residents To Do What On The Same Day?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Character Derives His Name From Time Travel?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was Fox Contractually Obligated To Offer The Role Of John McClain In Die Hard To?

Trivia

Hard

Prior To The Launch Of Google’s Email Service, Who Did Gmail.com Service?

Trivia

Hard

What Purpose Does The Penny Aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover Serve?

Trivia

Hard

The Intervention Of What Led To A Total Restructuring Of British Radio In The 1960s?

Trivia

Easy

Plants Lose Water Through A Process Known As?

Trivia

Hard

The First Electric Air Conditioning Unit Was Invented By?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Actor And His Best Known Character Shared The Same Middle Name?