In Paris, Rats Outnumber People Two-to-One

Ratatouille might be your favorite kids movie, but the real thing doesn’t always look as cute and cuddly, at least as far as Parisians are concerned.

According to experts, the rat population in France’s capital is at an all-time high, with more than 4 million of the little creatures (i.e., two for each Parisian) roaming the streets at any given time. Apparently new construction — unlike the culinary aspirations depicted in Ratatouille — has driven them up from the sewers. But some PETA enthusiasts say the critters actually help out by eating trash that would otherwise go to a landfill, and leftover food from picnics that humans are too lazy to clean up. This wouldn’t be the first time the French turned a pest into an asset, like the theme park Puy de Fou, which trained crows to pick up cigarette butts.


Whether you think Parisians should set the exterminators loose, or leave well enough alone, this is an issue Paris will be dealing with for a while to come. Or, you know, everyone could just get more cats.