Useless information #47 - "Conan the bacterium"


Conan is great but first things first...

We all like cockroaches, don't we?


No, we don't!

Well, some find them tasty


  • They are everywhere!
  • They have been around for about 300 million years (so they've outlasted the dinosaurs by about 150 million years!)
  • They can survive without head longer than you and I (up to two weeks)

Their reputation for being survivors is huge and well deserved but there are myths as well. The most know is related to cockroaches being able to survive a nuclear disaster because they resist to radiation. It's really a myth. A STUDY undertaken in 1959 showed that although they resist to radiation more than we do, there are other insects much more resistant.

Letal radiation doses:

  • human: 400 - 1,000 rads
  • cockroach: 20 000 rads
  • fruit fly: 64 000 rads
  • parasitoid wasp: 180 000 rads!!!

What about Conan?

The name is Deinococcus radiodurans. It's a foul-smelling reddish bacterium that researchers call "Conan the Bacterium" because its resistance to radiation.

1 500 000 rads!!!

It's just crazy

Back to cockroaches...

Some people do love them!

See you tomorrow for more "Useless information"

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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