Interesting Facts About Cockroach: It Can Survive For A Week Without Its Head!

Many people may describe them as ugly, disgusting, filthy and even creepy, but cockroaches are still very fascinating creatures due to their unique biology. Since they are often associated with dirty environments, it has created a negative perception towards these insects.
Cockroaches rank quite high on the list of insects you do not want to find in your kitchen, but they’re more than just stinking pests. The unique biology of these creatures has led to their evolutionary resilience. Actually, the reason they induce such disgust in very many people is largely due to their biology!
Cockroaches are found all over the world, living in different kinds of habitat. They can live in caves, burrows, forests, bushes, and even in urban places.
These insects are very old. They existed on the planet about 350 million years ago. Modern cockroaches are more diverse and smaller than their prehistoric species. Fortunately, they’re not listed as endangered species.
Cockroaches are well-known for their astonishing survival abilities which kept their species for many years. There are about 4500 species of cockroaches all over the world. Only thirty of them interact with human beings and are considered as pests.
Being the world’s largest species, American cockroaches can grow up to 6 inches in length. Cockroaches are not selective; they can eat any organic matter irrespective of its condition.
Due to this habit, they’re mostly disgusted and hated by humans. They can eat all decaying organic matters and the waste of other animals. Read on to learn more interesting facts about cockroaches.
1. Cockroaches Are Edible In Some Countries
Perhaps, this is the weirdest fact about cockroaches. While several people particularly women hate them, there are countries where cockroaches are served as food. In countries such as Thailand, China, Ghana, Mexico and even in some regions of Americas they’re served as food.
In fact, a cockroach eating contest was held in Nov 2012. Unfortunately, the champion of the contest died shortly after the competition. He choked to death on the tiny pieces of cockroaches in his throat.
2. Cockroach Farms
The cockroaches are reared for commercial purposes. Since 2010, there has been an increasing demand for dried cockroaches in China as they’re used for different remedies. Besides, powdered form of cockroaches is bought by various cosmetics firms to use in their product.
The largest farm in the country situated on a deserted poultry farm contains nearly 10 million crates full of them. They’re put in old egg cartons and fed with decaying vegetables.
3. Their Speed
On the ground, cockroaches can run at speeds of up to 3 miles per hour. Though this may sound slow compared to bigger animals, the speed is remarkable relative to its size. A cockroach of cheetah’s size would run at about 50 miles per hour. A newborn cockroach -the size of a speck of dust -can run almost as fast as a mature adult.
4. A Cockroach Can Survive For One Week Without Its Head!
Well, this is unbelievable! Cockroaches can still live even when they’re headless, for almost one week. This isn’t because they do not have brains. They do. However, their brains don’t control all of their body functions.
Rather, the organs which control the crucial functions are found in the thorax or the middle part of a cockroach. So, a cockroach can survive without its head. Unfortunately, it will not be able to drink, so it eventually dies of thirst.
5. They can hold their breath for up to forty minutes!
So, starving a cockroach is completely out of the question. What if someone flushes it down the toilet? Will it kill a cockroach? Unluckily, this is not very clear. Why? Since cockroaches are very good at holding their breath.
Like most insects, cockroaches also take in air through distinct holes in their bodies known as spiracles. Though, they shut down these holes sometimes to prevent the absorption of excess oxygen and to prevent loss of water, as water vapor comes out of these holes.
Cockroaches can close their spiracles for nearly 40 minutes when immersed in water. This could offer them sufficient time to crawl for safety.
6. They can survive a nuclear explosion
Alright, this is where things get creepy? Research has revealed that cockroaches can withstand intense radiations, far beyond the levels which human beings can survive with. Cockroaches were discovered in Chernobyl, where the most horrific accident occurred and in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where the United States dropped atomic bombs.
How did they survive? It isn’t yet clear, but many scientists believe it is because cockroaches have slower cell cycles. At most, they molt only once per week.

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