HomeOutdoorsViralThis Image Cycle of a Cockroach Giving Birth is the Stuff of Nightmares: PHOTO

This Image Cycle of a Cockroach Giving Birth is the Stuff of Nightmares: PHOTO

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Tenra via Getty Images)

Did you know cockroaches can survive up to three months without food? They can also withstand a month without water and up to 45 whole minutes without air. And while the heat from a nuclear bomb would kill a cockroach instantly, they can survive the massive amounts of radiation poisoning the air in the aftermath, unlike humans.

That said, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the cockroach’s unmatched ick factor. Lobsters, after all, are similarly creepy, if you really think about it. The crustaceans can live for over 100 years, their DNA repairing itself as they scuttle across the ocean floor on ten legs, growing in size continuously until reaching the bitter end of their impossibly long lifespans.

But we can forgive a lobster for its alien-like qualities. Meanwhile, the mere thought of a cockroach makes our skin crawl. Even Betty White couldn’t convince us of the six-legged monstrosities’ innocence. The Golden Girls icon fearlessly showered affection on a cockroach when given the chance and still, we can’t stomach them.

In an interview with BBC, Andrew Stein, a computer programmer who once had an unfortunate encounter with a cockroach involving a bath towel and a $10 bargain, made a compelling argument against the insect. “They’re erratic; it’s like they’re doing eight things at once; they look dirty; they move really fast; they seem to have no fear of people,” he rattled off without hesitation. Too true, Andrew.

Good thing he’s never seen a cockroach giving birth, though, because then he might never sleep again. Prepare yourself for an absolutely dreadful sight, because the grisly scene isn’t something you can unsee.

Oh, and if you’re eating, just stop scrolling now.

Live Births Are Rare for Cockroaches

So yes, cockroach births are, in a word, disgusting. The majority of cockroach species, however, don’t give birth in such a way. Like most insects, cockroaches typically lay eggs, which then mature and hatch over the course of several weeks. Not hissing cockroaches, though. Oh, no. They have a far more gruesome approach to reproduction.

You see, unlike its relatives, the king-size Madagascan is ovoviviparous. After mating, a female Madagascar hissing cockroach will carry 30-60 eggs in her internal egg case or ootheca for about two months. When it’s time, she gives birth to the mass of wriggling white nightmares above, individually called nymphs.

Don’t worry, it gets worse.

Hissers reproduce two to three times a year, producing as many as 30 to 60 nymphs each time. The average lifespan of a Madagascar hissing cockroach is two to three years. This means that each female hisser is capable of leaving around 540 descendants behind! Isn’t that exciting?