While the massive population of New York City is awfully impacted by Sandy, there is a more populous and even more caustic population that is struggling with the aftermath: Rats! As Forbes notes, the NYC Subway is notorious for its rat population and with all five subway tubes now submerged, one can only imagine where these cute cuddly rabies-wielding devil rodents will make their new homes. "Rats are incredibly good swimmers and they can climb" is hardly the reassuring news lower Manhattan homeowners were looking for, and as the Daily Mail notes, this could bring infectious diseases such as leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague into human contact. On the bright side (well not really), rats don't need to bite a human to transmit its gross payload; rodent feces and urine can spread conditions like hantavirus just as easily - get long hand sanitizer stocks!
If they can do this - then what happens when they are forced above ground?
Cue gratuitous "biggest rat in the world" scary video clip (real or not - this is crazy)
- Rats can climb brick walls, trees, and telephone poles, and walk across telephone lines.
- Rats can fall from a height of 50 feet without getting hurt.
- Rats can jump three feet in the air from a flat surface and leap more than four feet horizontally.
- Rats can scamper through openings as small as a quarter. General rule: If a rat’s head fits into the hole then the body will follow.
Everything you did not want to know about rats and really did not want to ask: