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NOVA; Rat Attack


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Rat Attack
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

Every 48 years, the inhabitants of the remote Indian state of Mizoram suffer a horrendous ordeal known locally as mautam. An indigenous species of bamboo, blanketing 30 percent of Mizoram's 8,100 square miles, blooms once every half-century, spurring an explosion in the rat population which feeds off the bamboo's fruit. The rats run amok, destroying crops and precipitating a crippling famine throughout Mizoram. NOVA follows this gripping tale of nature's capacity to engender human suffering, and investigates the botanical mystery of why the bamboo flowers and why the rats attack with clockwork precision every half-century.

A production of NOVA and National Geographic Television ©2008 NGHT, Inc and WGBH Educational Foundation.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Rat Attack,” 12/30/2008, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 26, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0BA32A9BE4F94AB09AD9174E7FDC4F04.
MLA: “NOVA; Rat Attack.” 12/30/2008. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 26, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0BA32A9BE4F94AB09AD9174E7FDC4F04>.
APA: NOVA; Rat Attack. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0BA32A9BE4F94AB09AD9174E7FDC4F04
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