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Chicago’s viral ‘rat hole’ shrine becomes a wedding venue

The rat-shaped imprint on a sidewalk on West Roscoe Street in Chicago has become one couple’s wedding venue.

In a viral TikTok video, Raj Mahal (@realrajmahal) shared footage of him and his husband getting married under an arch of balloons beside what locals have dubbed the “rat hole”. He captioned the video: “My perfect Rat Hole wedding.”

Viewers flooded the comment section of the video - which has been liked over 230,000 times - to call the Chicago Rat Hole the gift that just keeps on giving.

“CongRATulations,” one person cheekily wrote, while another joked, “MARRIED IN HOLY RATRIMONY.’”

“I’m so happy the rat hole is bringing lovers together,” someone else commented.

Meanwhile, other viewers were entertained by the rat hole ceremony. “Forget the bean I will be visiting the rat hole when I go to Chicago,” one viewer wrote.

At the start of the year, Chicago artist and comedian Winslow Dumaine had been walking around West Roscoe Street when he came across the imprint of a rat pressed into the concrete. “What I found was very much like Looney Tunes, I guess. Just a full rat splat in the wet pavement,” Dumaine recalled to Fox. “I just busted out laughing when I saw it.”

Dumaine snapped a picture of the odd imprint and shared it on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing above the picture: “Had to make a pilgrimage to the Chicago rat hole.”

Little did he know, the post would go viral, with 5mil views in just two days.

Since then, people from all over have been making their pilgrimages to the new Chicago landmark, leaving behind stuffed animals, candles, and cheese in honour of the random rat - who has since been lovingly referred to as “Lil Stucky” or “Chimley” - that once lay on the wet concrete. Some people have even reportedly begun throwing coins in the rat hole as if it were the Trevi Fountain.

“Rat hole just blew up. It was it’s time to shine,” Dumaine continued. “It’s very universal. Everywhere got rats. Everywhere got mistakes. And this one is a rat making a pretty profound mistake.”

The local community has grown so attached to the rat hole that on 19 January they even reportedly used a brush and water to scrub the shallow hole to restore it to its former glory after it was coated with a “plaster-like substance,” according to reports. At the time, transportation and sanitation officials told the Chicago Tribune that the city was not behind the fill-in.

“Overall, people just appreciate that our wonderful block is getting attention — even if it’s to look at a rat hole,” Jeff VanDam told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s a small, quirky feature of a neighbourhood where we get used to it, we care about it, and we want to protect it.”

The rat hole attraction is just one of many quirky Chicago attractions that play off of the city’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, which include Al Capone’s vault and a bronzed coil of fake faeces on a fountain that serves as a reminder for people to pick up after their dogs.