We had plans to post something completely different today, but our plans quickly changed when we came across this series of photographs taken by Flickr user Furryscaly. Before you go any further, here's a warning: if you happen to be eating, you might want to come back later.  

Now, we're probably betraying a huge gap in our collective entomological knowledge here, but most of us were under the (blissful) impression that cockroaches laid eggs and did not give birth to a mass of wriggling and ghostly pale mini-me's. How wrong we were... 

It turns out that the Madagascar hissing cockroach carries her 30-60 eggs inside an internal ootheca (or egg case) – for an unusually protracted two months. Newborn nymphs only emerge from the mother once the eggs have hatched inside her (a mode of reproduction known as ovoviviparity). And while this strategy may be rare for roaches, the Madagascar hissers are not alone. Now, take a moment to steel yourself ... and behold the live cockroach birth you'll probably never forget.  

Previous Next Live cockroach birth 01 View Slideshow

And just because we know there's nothing like watching a roach birth in all of its riveting motion, here's a little video:

Video credit: PenanggalanMonster

Should you feel that you've not yet exceeded your disgusting-yet-so-fascinating quota for the day, then move right along to Video Number 2, in which mother roach appears to secrete some kind of substance (the egg case?), which certainly meets with the youngsters' approval (we welcome suggestions as to what it may be). 

Video credit: PenanggalanMonster