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The Gift That Keeps On Hissing
January 27, 2012 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Unsure what to give your special someone for Valentines Day this year? Why not give their name to one of the Bronx Zoo's 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
posted by The Whelk (47 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know how beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

The roach is proof that it's not that simple.
posted by Trurl at 8:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


'Because our love is everlasting, like our roach problem'.

Brilliant.
posted by jquinby at 8:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my. I love this.
posted by pemberkins at 8:41 AM on January 27, 2012


Wow, what timing! I was just about to post an AxeMe about how to dump my SO without the fear of her ever stalking me!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:42 AM on January 27, 2012


For just $15 more, a hand-painted, artisanal chocolate roach will give your Valentine something to squeal about.

I was a lot more excited about this when I thought they were sending an actual chocolate-covered roach and tried to puzzle out the moral implications of this. Also, the individual who came up with "Cocoa-Roach" needs to be smacked over the head and then promptly given a raise.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Maybe you want to name the roach in honor of his or her boss? Their least favorite teacher or talk show host?

"An old woman stands in the market with a 'Chernobyl mushrooms for sale' sign. A man goes up to her and asks, 'Hey, what are you doing? Who's going to buy Chernobyl mushrooms?' And she tells him, 'Why, lots of people. Some for their boss, others for their mother-in-law...'"
posted by griphus at 8:45 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because our love would survive a nuclear war.
posted by mcmile at 8:45 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Everybody I know is going to get this as a gift at some point :D
posted by anaximander at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2012


How do they get their arms around the places those furry, feathery and slithering creatures call home? There must be a lot of people in the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Pedantry out of the way, hissing cockroaches live 2-5 years in the wild, and they make the ideal pet for children, as they are pretty hardy and won't die quickly without.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2012


I just...I just got 'cocoa-roach'. Man alive.
posted by jquinby at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


But you can't even eat them.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 AM on January 27, 2012


From NatGeo on Madagascar hissing cockroaches
Type: Bug
Diet: Herbivore
Average life span in the wild: 2 to 5 years
Size: 2 to 3 in (5 to 7.5 cm) long
Weight: Up to 0.8 oz (22.7 g)
Group name: Colony
Did you know? A small colony of hissing cockroaches can eat a large carrot in a single day.

So while our collective love is eternal, your particular love has a wild life expectancy of 2 to 5 years. Probably 5-8 in containment.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:50 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are members, and take our 3 year old to the Bronx zoo all the time. She *adores* these cockroaches, and i think I may be required to get her a chocolate one.
posted by gaspode at 8:51 AM on January 27, 2012


In software developement sometimes teams do stuff like name a whale after their product codename. I just decided to name a roach after my team's product codename. Pretty cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:51 AM on January 27, 2012


I just got 'cocoa-roach'

Say hello to their little friends.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:52 AM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


> But you can't even eat them.

Try it deep fried.
posted by goethean at 8:52 AM on January 27, 2012


Damn, those things live longer than rats.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 AM on January 27, 2012


> Try it deep fried.

Well, I would if the stingy bastards at the Bronx Zoo would mail them to me after I paid for them.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


> You know how beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

The roach is proof that it's not that simple.


But you can use beer to kill cockroaches!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2012


The video is awesome.

vegartanipla: " Did you know? A small colony of hissing cockroaches can eat a large carrot in a single day."

No. No, I did not know that.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on January 27, 2012


gaspode: We are members, and take our 3 year old to the Bronx zoo all the time. She *adores* these cockroaches, and i think I may be required to get her a chocolate one.

At first I was concerned she'd be faced with a harsh choice: can she eat something that she finds interesting/appealing when it was alive (yes, I know the chocolate ones aren't chocolate-dipped roaches, but they're supposed to look like real roaches). But people have a funny habit of portraying animals as anthropomorphic cannibals.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2012


Did you know? A small colony of hissing cockroaches can eat a large carrot in a single day.

So, um, how many would I need for, say, um, I don't know, around 180 pounds of meat and bone?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:59 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Trurl: You know how beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

The roach is proof that it's not that simple.


The Card Cheat: But you can use beer to kill cockroaches!

This is proof that god(s) has/have a funny sense of humor.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:59 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


> So, um, how many would I need for, say, um, I don't know, around 180 pounds of meat and bone?

Quite a few.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 AM on January 27, 2012


"An old woman stands in the market with a 'Chernobyl mushrooms for sale' sign. A man goes up to her and asks, 'Hey, what are you doing? Who's going to buy Chernobyl mushrooms?' And she tells him, 'Why, lots of people. Some for their boss, others for their mother-in-law...'"

I would never buy my boss a Chernobyl mushroom. I fear he would turn into Bosszilla, marauding about the city, sowing terror, frustration, confusion and illegible handwriting. All terrorizing the populace and demanding awkward fist-bumps.

I would give him a cockroach, but just the regular kind.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:03 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling even the Bronx Zoo Cobra would look askance at these.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:03 AM on January 27, 2012


Quite a few

I knew you were going there. As soon as I confirmed, I back-browsed to get the hell out of there. As a roach-phobe, even the comic book adaptation of Creepshow fucked me up for years. You'd have to subject me to the Ludovico treatment before I'd watch the scene itself.

I read that after filming, they kept finding roaches everywhere - even inside the cameras.
posted by Trurl at 9:07 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Try it deep fried.

Based on my single but memorable experience taking a bite of common cockroach, this is not an experiment you want to try. It tastes like biting into a crunchy battery with a chaser of ammonia and pesticide.

I am deeply unhappy to be able to report this.

I can't imagine that deep-frying would much improve roach's lavor, nor that the hissing variety could be an improvement beyond a meatier mouthfeel. Try salmiakki basted in cleaning solvent instead. The first and last time I tried salty licorice, the shock of taste recognition was very unpleasant.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:13 AM on January 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


roach's flavor
posted by nicebookrack at 9:14 AM on January 27, 2012


I thought this sounded like a cool idea, but then I remembered that there are probably about 100,000+ giant cockroaches (not scientific name, but similar to these Madagascan chaps) things within about 50 yards of where I'm sitting (for science!). So it might look like a particularly slack idea (e.g. see efforts in earlier years), which is a damn shame. I would welcome further valentine's present advice.

Its a worry to us that they apparently keep 5000 of the little fellas in these 18" deep plastic trays with no lids, they put vaseline around the inside below the rim to keep them in. No-one has dropped one yet...
posted by biffa at 9:15 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


i don't even know why i clicked on this but the current battle between epic regret and epic lolz within my soul is fierce and terrifying
posted by elizardbits at 9:16 AM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Let me just say that's a frighteningly large number of hissing cockroaches.
posted by tommasz at 9:32 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Our love is like a cockroach, because when we're doing it right there's a squish sound involved.
posted by drezdn at 9:45 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we raise $580,000, then the zookeepers can say, "And these are our Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Their name is Dick Cheney."
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:56 AM on January 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


Wow, somebody decided that New York City didn't have enough roaches, so they went and imported some.
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dibs on naming one William Peter Blattodea.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:14 AM on January 27, 2012


Wow, somebody decided that New York City didn't have enough roaches, so they went and imported some.

Wait till you see the giant rat exhibit!
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because roaches are forever, indeed.
posted by empatterson at 10:23 AM on January 27, 2012


You just know they're going to escape into the sewers and breed giant sewer roaches. Sometimes you'd think scientists would pay more attention to B movies.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:32 AM on January 27, 2012


You just know they're going to escape into the sewers and breed giant sewer roaches.

Naw, the NYC roaches will just shake their heads, mumble "fucking tourists" and light another cigarette.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:35 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I read that after filming, they kept finding roaches everywhere - even inside the cameras.

I hate you.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:42 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is it that everything from Madagascar is endangered except the one thing that ought to be?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's proof that God exists and that he is a motherfucker.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:36 AM on January 27, 2012


Why is it that everything from Madagascar is endangered except the one thing that ought to be?

should I?

Because they SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.
posted by jquinby at 11:47 AM on January 27, 2012


When I was in high school, I volunteered at the (then) Metro Washington Park Zoo (now the Oregon Zoo). I was one of the original ZooTeens, and as part of that experience, I chose to work at the Insect Zoo.

One of the main things ZooTeens do is interpretation, which includes asking people if they would like to touch animals like a rabbit, a silky chicken, or a pygmy goat. At the Insect Zoo (which should have more properly been called the Arthropod Zoo), we would ask people if they wanted to touch a Madagascar hissing cockroach or an Australian walking stick. Occasionally, one of us with enough experience would get out a more exciting animal like a tarantula or a scorpion and talk about them for a while. Sometimes, especially with the Madagascar hissers, we would offer to let people hold them. They are a particularly chill animal, unlike the roaches that I occasionally find in my current New York apartment. They mostly sit around or walk slowly to the food.

So we would offer to let people touch them or hold them, and couples would goad each other into being the one to do something as gross as touch or hold a bug. Lots of parents would convince their kids that it was a good idea. What we learned, though, was to try to read people. Would they really be able to handle holding a bug? Often we would start by offering to let them touch a Madagascar hissing cockroach, and if that went well we might offer them the chance to hold one. Every summer, though, there were a couple of times where we misjudged. A well-meaning volunteer would place the unsuspecting animal in a visitor's carefully outstretched palm. A few moments would pass by as the visitor absorbed the situation. Then, without warning, the visitor would yelp or shriek and jerk their hand back suddenly, sending the little dude flying.

I said that Madagascar hissing cockroaches are pretty chill, and that's true, but it doesn't mean that they can't scuttle with the best of them. We never found any of the flung animals. Also, we never really looked that hard, since my supervisor was concerned about how people would react if a bunch of Insect Zoo workers started searching intently for an escapee.

Whenever there's a movie with bugs, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are almost always there. They're big, gross-looking, cheap, and they'll stay in one place long enough to get the shot. Those scenes always take me out a little bit, as I'm always thinking, "Those are not native to that area! What happened? Is this a colony descended from visitor-flung cockroaches?"
posted by sleepinglion at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


I would like to take this oppotunity to draw attention to theodolite's comment from last year's post.
posted by troika at 11:54 AM on January 27, 2012


Thank you! I knew I needed to do something special for my wife on our first valentine's day together as a married couple. This is the perfect way to thank her for adopting a bat for my birthday a while ago. Metafilter, I owe you big time!
posted by blindcarboncopy at 12:15 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. I know just the guy.
posted by mochapickle at 2:03 PM on January 27, 2012


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