A rat king is a collection of rats whose tails are intertwined and bound together by one of several possible mechanisms, such as entangling material like hair or sticky substances like sap or gum or getting tied together. Historically, this alleged phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany. There are several specimens preserved in museums but very few instances of rat kings have been observed in modern times.
Last week, animal control officers at the Nebraska Humane Society received an unusual call. A homeowner in Elkhorn said he had found a clump of six baby squirrels, in distress, with their tails knotted together. It all started when Craig Luttman heard screeching outside his home. When he went out to look, he found the six-headed cluster, climbing a tree in his backyard. The anxious squirrels were handed safely over to the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab for a full recovery. Weird story of the week brought to you by our awesome animal control officers! Animal control got a call for Laura Stastny, the executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, told the Omaha World-Herald they get these sorts of phone calls every year or two. In fact, this sort of thing is also thought to happen to other small rodents, like rats and forest mice.
The Rat King possesses incredible strength and resilience, surpassing that of a Bloater, shown in how it could easily smash through and destroy much of the lower levels of the hospital, including an ambulance, and was capable of taking extensive damage before dying. After taking enough damage, some of the intertwined Infected can break off from the larger mass. Once an Infected has detached, it can have traits shared with other types of Infected. For instance, one Infected which detached resembled a Stalker in behavior and appearance but was able to throw sacks of mycotoxin similar to Bloaters.
A ball of furry fury, a rat king occurs when the tails of rodents become twisted, wrapped, and warped into a knot so impossible that not even the world's most loyal Boy Scout could untangle it. Rat kings have been reported since the midth century almost entirely within Germany , and everything about them—from their name, to their cause, to their very existence—remains suspended in mystery. To start, the origin of the term rat king is hazy. It may be a mistaken translation of the French rouet de rats , a "wheel of rats" rat king in French is roi-de-rats. But this is an unlikely etymology. It was believed that senior rats would sit on the tails of younger rats to make their nests, and that, if the tails tangled, the elder rat would survive by having its meals delivered by the rodent world's proletariat. The rat king's existence is debatable; while there are several preserved specimens, they might be fakes perpetrated by hoaxers who wanted to make a quick buck. Owing to a lack of solid contemporary evidence, zoologists remain skeptical of rat kings—but open to the possibility that they are freak accidents.