Subway Rats Are Entertainment

Subway Rat

You know you’re in Manhattan when you are entertained by the rats in the subway while waiting for your train.

Admit it, you know you get a certain amount of enjoyment watching a rat run around on the tracks.  As long as that little bugger is down there and you’re up here, everything is cool.  You even find yourself wondering, “What’s gonna happen when the train comes?  Oh this is gonna be good.”

Sick bastard.

It’s even funnier late at night when a lot of people notice the rat.  It continues to cruise down the tracks.  One by one, people start to lean over to see where it went.  Before you know it, everyone is looking.

Sometimes you see more than one.  They chase each other like squirrels in the park.

The rats in NYC have adapted to subway life so much that their fur has evolved to match the exact color of the grime on the track bed.  It’s actually pretty hard to spot a rat if it isn’t moving.  They blend in very well.

What’s also a little odd is the number of subway rat photos on Flickr.

5 thoughts on “Subway Rats Are Entertainment

  1. We were in NYC over the weekend of 12/10/2007 and it was the kids first time on the subway, they are 5 and 7. While waiting to take our first subway ride, my son noticed two large rats eating french fries on the subway track/ ties. You were right, you need to look to see them. If it wasn’t for the yellow french fries moving up and down in the rats mouth, we would have missed it, then the train came and the rat dissappeared under the track! “Totally Cool” said my son! Good story. Love NYC. Felt safe, the street scams have really dimished. Chinatown was fun, Macy’s and other attractions were great! Will be back.


  2. we had a great time in NYC and yeah, it was very entertaining to watch the subways rats. 2 subway related questions: 1) do rats have a high stress tolerance? those traiins make such a lot of noise screaming right over the rats’ head…. and they seem to take it in stride…… most animals couldnt take the stress
    2) not to be an OCD tourist, but has anyone else ever wondered about the amount of germs on the subway poles??? think of it, miliions of maybe not so clean humanoids grabbing the same post year after year… just thought I would ask….


  3. @deb:

    Actually, deb… most of the rats are stone cold deaf. If not from birth, very shortly afterwards. But when you weigh about four ounces, you can feel that 10-car train a comin’ long before you need to duck!

    And the Germs? No more than the car door handle on that cab… or the screen of the MetroCard machine, or your keys, front doorknob, etc. And they do get disinfected, more often than you’d think. It’s nothing a human shouldn’t be able to survive, unless they’ve grown up in an ultra-sanitized, Purell and Tissues world… That’s why we have an immune system…or at least my generation did. Today’s kids, not so much.


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