Cockroaches are one of the grossest bugs on earth. These little guys are known for their infestations, their indestructible nature, and their ability to freak people out. But what other facts about cockroaches do you really know?
Cockroaches have been around for millions of years and have fascinated different cultures for many reasons. And while you might not want to see one in your house, they're actually a vital part of the world's ecosystem. These bugs are complicated and intricate creatures with their own social behaviors and reproductive rituals.
So read on if you dare to know more about one of the grossest, most horrifying bugs known to man. These cockroach facts are, indeed, quite terrifying.
Despite all their less than desirable qualities, roaches might be sharing their survival skills with us. Recent research found that the milk that the female pacific beetle cockroach feeds its young is a super food. Upon examining its molecular content, they found that it contains triple the calories of the the previous "most nutritious substance on earth" buffalo milk. The same research group is working on engineering yeast to produce synthetic roach milk, which would open the door to mass production.
Food isn’t the only thing cockroaches can survive without. Thanks to their low metabolism, oxygen isn’t essential for them either, at least for a little while. Cockroaches can survive without breathing for up to 40 minutes. This is because their tissue stores what it needs to create oxygen for a little while even when not directly breathing in oxygen. On their body they have 10 pairs of respiratory openings that bring in a sufficient amount of oxygen, and have complex breathing patterns that allow them to adjust how much oxygen and water they let out depending on their environment.
Unlike most living things, cockroaches’ vital organs are self-sufficient. Rather than relying on a brain to maintain homeostasis, their organs can do it themselves. This is why they can survive without a head for up to a week. In fact, they could survive headless indefinitely, but without a head they have no way to intake water, so they eventually die of thirst.
In addition to being virtually invincible, some cockroaches are totally filthy. They can carry a range of bacteria, and their feces and decaying molted exoskeletons can cause major allergic reactions. Some of the horrifying things you can catch from a cockroach include salmonella, dysentery, cholera, and the plague.