Jan 23, 2024 - Culture

Chicago's "rat hole" joins the viral Hall of Fame

The outline of a rat in concrete.

The Chicago "rat hole" last week. Photo: Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

The Roscoe Village "rat hole" has emerged as the latest strange phenomenon to capture Chicago's attention.

Why it matters: Chicago loves rallying behind odd, unexpected attractions, such as a rodent-shaped hole and a poop fountain statue.

Driving the news: Since going viral on social media, the "rat hole" has been honored with a shrine, has a Wikipedia page and even was the spot of a marriage proposal.

  • So as Chicago officially welcomes this new spot into its strange Hall of Fame, let's look back on some other inductees.

Our Lady of the Underpass: A 2005 salt stain underneath a grimy Kennedy viaduct near Logan Square attracted people from all over the world because its shape resembled the Virgin Mary.

Our Lady of the Underpass

A 2005 salt stain underneath a grimy Kennedy viaduct near Logan Square attracted people from all over the world because its shape resembled the Virgin Mary.

  • It's not the first time the Chicago area was center stage over religious miracles: A crucifix in Hillside sported a Virgin Mary vision that drew crowds in the 1980s.

Chance the Snapper

Danger: Alligator in the Area sign in front of lagoon with ducks in it.
Alligator warning signs at Humboldt Park in 2019. Photo by Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It's not the first time an invasive species has shown up in a park lagoon, but the alligator drew thousands trying to get a glimpse in Humboldt Park. We even made the conservationist who finally caught the alligator a celebrity.

Kyle Schwarber's home run ball

Baseball in glass box.
Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber's home run ball is protected by a transparent box atop the right field video board at Wrigley Field. Photo: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

While a rookie, Schwarber blasted a towering home run in the 2015 playoffs. The ball landed and stayed on the scoreboard.

  • It's become part of Cubs fans' Wrigley Field experience to try to spot the ball, now encased in glass atop the right field scoreboard.

Piping plovers Monty and Rose

A piping plover.
Rose, the piping plover at Montrose Beach in 2021. Photo by: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

The endangered bird couple offered Chicagoans a rare chance to see the species when they nested at Montrose Beach in 2019. They even got a movie deal out of it. Monty died in 2022, and Rose didn't return to the beach.

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