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The Misunderstood Genius of Rats: Mental Telepathy and Beyond

It’s a sad fact, but few creatures evoke more fear and revulsion than the humble rat. With their beady eyes and scrappy movements, rats are often seen as villains ruling over shadows, scurrying in sewers, and lurking in dark corners.

But this image doesn’t tell the full story. In fact, it couldn’t be more different than the truth. Because in the eyes of those who truly understand them, rats are one of nature’s most intelligent and surprising heroes.

Take it from researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who recently proved that rats, like humans, can imagine places they aren’t in. But that’s not all – rat brains can also perform mental telepathy, making them a truly misunderstood genius of the animal kingdom.

What Humans Get Wrong About Rats

The media’s portrayal of rodents encourages many of us to fear rats, but most of what we assume about them is incorrect.

For example, rats have a reputation for spreading illnesses, but they aren’t inherently more disease-ridden than other animals. They’re even quite clean, often grooming themselves as frequently as cats.

Viewing rats as mere pests is another misunderstanding. While rats are considered nothing more than pests in urban areas, they actually play important roles in various ecosystems, including seed dispersal and soil aeration.

Some people also assume rats have limited emotions, seeing them a world away from cats and dogs. But, like your beloved animal companions, rats have been observed displaying emotions and behaviours like happiness, fear, playfulness, and even social bonding.

The Truth About Rat Intelligence

Rats are constantly surprising researchers and the scientific community with their cognitive abilities. They display social behaviours like cooperation, empathy, and group communication, have excellent spatial memory, and can even be trained to press levers and push buttons.

Can you guess what animals we can compare their intelligence to? Believe it or not, rats’ cognitive abilities have been compared to those of monkeys, particularly in terms of problem-solving, learning, and memory.

The Science Behind Rat Telepathy

Now that rats have won you over, let’s revisit their mental telepathy.

To study how brains recall memories and imagine the future, researchers had rats run on a treadmill with an immersive, 3D world projected around them. The goal was to simulate a virtual reality controlled by their brains. As the rats explored the virtual world, scientists had them move a digital cube into a twisting column – using only their minds.

To the surprise of almost everyone, the rats not only pulled off this telepathic feat – they mastered it, learning to mentally teleport through the digital world to reach the twisting column themselves.

In other words, rat brains are so advanced that they can telepathically move objects in virtual realities and video games – just like humans do. While the term ‘telepathy’ may sound mystical, the fact remains that rats can mentally manipulate objects, interplaying perception, memory, and imagination in their little brains!

This important research can help scientists design computers that humans can control with their brains, such as robotic limbs.


Love Science? Thank Rats!

The humble rat’s influence on research is nothing short of profound, and much of science’s life-saving discoveries wouldn’t have been possible without this furry critter. Who knows what we’ll discover next with the power of rat telepathy?!

Building Interspecies Peace with Rats

The underappreciated intelligence of rats raises many questions about the nature of consciousness, cognition, and communication with animals. If rats are capable of so much in the lab, perhaps it’s time to pursue stronger human-rat relationships in our everyday lives too. With authentic compassion and a desire for emotional connection, maybe rats can become as precious to the average human as cats and dogs.

For more information on animal communication and updates from the animal kingdom, visit the Animal Thoughts Blog.


Pea Horsley is an international teacher, TEDx speaker and bestselling author of 3 books including ‘Heart to Heart’ and ‘The Animal Communicator’s Guide’, which have been translated into nine languages, online course Animal Communication Made Easy, and creator of the Conversations with Nature World Summit. Pea is the UK’s most highly regarded animal communicator and wild animal retreat facilitator. Join Pea’s membership, The Pride, and be part of a global community listening to a council of animals advising humanity and together forging real transformation.