RSS
Discovered: The 'horrible' jumping cockroach
A new species of roach found in South Africa can cover 50 times its body length in a single bound
A new species of cockroach can jump like a grasshopper and travel distances fifty time its own length.
A new species of cockroach can jump like a grasshopper and travel distances fifty time its own length.
YouTube
T

he video: As if cockroaches weren't menacing enough, scientists in South Africa have discovered a new species with a unique ability: It can jump, as far as 20 inches in a single bound. Saltoblattella montistabularis will be added to the list of 4,000 known species of cockroaches. The others crawl around with a "scuttling motion," but this creature bounds forward "powered by rapid and synchronous extension of the hind legs that are twice the length of the other legs and make up 10 percent of the body weight," say researchers. (Watch the video below.) At four-tenths of an inch long, these "leaproaches" can cover as much as 50 times their length in one leap.

The reaction: Fifty times its own length? These "creepy" bugs "aren't just leaproaches," says Mark Memmott at NPR. "They're Superroaches." The video below is sure to give more than a few people "the willies." Definitely, says Maureen O' Connor at Gawker. A "face-attacking cockroach leap monster" capable of out-jumping even locusts? It's essentially "the horrible monster bug from all New Yorkers' nightmares." See for yourself: 

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week