Tromp that bugger three or four times

You don’t really want to say anything nice about cockroaches, but let’s face it: they’re resilient little bastards. As witness:

The American cockroach is fast, moving at a rate of 50 body lengths per second. When racing across the floor to avoid a predator, a cockroach may aim for a wall and take it headfirst. Such a collision should stun the bug, but they have a shock-absorbent body that not only protects them from damage, it also allows them to channel that momentum into actually crawling up the wall.

Researchers sent 18 male cockroaches running on a paper-lined surface that ended in a wall. They filmed them with high-speed video at a rate of 500 frames per second and some motion tracking software to see how the bugs made it up the wall. Both of these were important because, to the naked eye, the roaches appear to scurry up the wall without missing a step. They just appear to effortlessly change from a horizontal dash to a vertical one.

Once the researchers looked at the footage, however, they discovered that the roaches would rather ram their heads right into the wall, absorb the force, bounce to a climbing angle and continue scurrying. This method was used 80 percent of the time. The rest of the time, the roaches angled themselves up a bit before colliding with the wall, resulting in a slower approach.

Let’s see Keith Richards try that.

(Via Fark. And here’s some mood music to go with it.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    21 February 2018 · 5:20 am

    If they don’t get concussions, maybe Cockroach Football is the future of the NFL.

    (I get the little jerks coming in my house sometimes; can attest that they are sometimes too fast to stomp)

  2. Holly H »

    21 February 2018 · 7:58 am

    Robo-cockroaches? And I thought robo-DOGS were creepy.

  3. nightfly »

    21 February 2018 · 1:12 pm

    I’m with you, Holly – only a scientist would take the already-durable cockroach and make a robot version. Just fantastic.

RSS feed for comments on this post