Watch How Easily a Rat Can Get From City Streets to Your Toilet

CC BY 2.0. Jean-Jacques Boujot/Flickr

With so many stories about all kinds of unwelcome creatures winding up in one’s toilet – snakes, alligators, rats – I’ve generally dismissed the idea. Quickly. Unthinkingly. When it comes to toilet-based animal attacks, ignorance can be a beautiful coping mechanism.

But my obsession for collecting random bits of arcane information collided with having rats on my radar, thanks to recently writing about the rise of the city rodents. Which is why I finally took the dive, so to speak, to see if rats really do end up in city toilets, and if so, how?

What I didn’t expect was this: Not only do they, but they do so with speed and nimble alacrity. National Geographic lovingly explains it as thus:

"A rat's ribs are hinged at the spine, enabling it to easily squeeze through the tightest spaces—like the pipes draining your toilet. And rats are great swimmers too; they can hold their breath for up to three minutes."

And they have a video showing all the magic. So, yeah ... enjoy! (As for me, BRB, closing the toilet lids and topping them with cinder blocks.)