- An imprint of a rodent in Chicago has gone viral after a visitor snapped a photo
- The silhouette of what appears to be a rat has been there for over a decade
- People are now visiting the site and leaving bizarre tokens of their appreciation
Rats don’t run this city, but they do shape the pavement in Chicago.
An oddly-shaped rodent hole in the ground has curious tourists from all over visiting Roscoe Village after a now-viral tweet alerted people to its existence.
The image, which shows a splayed out rat indent in the pavement, was accompanied by text that read: ‘Had to make a pilgrimage to the Chicago Rat Hole.’
The response was immediate with the post amassing more than five million views and 136,000 likes so far.
The hole has captured the attention of the locals as well – with the Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce even leaning into the rat-shaped hysteria taking over the city.
‘We could not resist the urge to give into the hype,’ they said in a Facebook post.
‘From Remy to Mickey Mouse, rodents have a special place in the heart of pop culture. The Roscoe Village “Rat Hole” is no exception.’
Others who have made the pilgrimage to the famous rat hole have left offerings to the rodent imprint such as coins, small trinkets, and even a tiny bouquet of flowers.
There has been some debate over the how long the rat silhouette has been there for and if it even is the said animal.
In a Reddit thread from more than a decade ago, residents argued over the origins of the hole.
‘That definitely looks more like a squirrel than a rat to me,’ one observer commented. ‘And I say this as somebody who has been bitten by a squirrel.’
‘Naw… it’s a squirrel… I live in Roscoe village and we’ve done research… It’s a squirrel…,’ another agreed.
‘You can tell by the foot prints next to it.’
‘I took a picture of that exact same imprint a couple months ago, and I’m sorry but it’s no squirrel. It’s a fat Chicago rat,’ someone else declared.
‘Alternative theory – somewhere a construction worker, who has a strange sense of humor and cares little for the quality of his work, keeps a rubber rat with his masonry tools,’ a fourth person joked.
The hole – believed to be from a rat falling on wet concrete and either decaying over time or being removed – has been the topic of neighborhood debates for more than a decade.
It’s not clear if the rodent ever escaped – with no obvious trail leading away from its imprint but some users on the thread pointed out there were some markings which looked like small paws nearby.
Winslow guessed it was likely a ‘perfect combination of factors’ that resulted in the rodent imprint.
‘The cement was obviously very wet for a rat to be able to land that deeply in it,’ he told Book Club Chicago.
‘It probably just landed and then was covered in cement and then crawled out. Because there are little scratch marks near the hole.’
It’s not the only rat-related craze to sweep the city, with the constant presence of real-life rats causing Chicago residents to make 50,000 rat complaints in 2022.
Pest control company Orkin even named Chicago the nation’s ‘rattiest’ city in 2023.
Despite the city’s efforts to tame the rat population for nearly a decade, it continues to be the most infested city in the U.S..