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SYFY WIRE Chosen One of The Day

Chosen One of the Day: These lit cockroaches from 1975's Bug

By Stephanie Williams

If you believe flying cockroaches are nightmares straight from hell, then Bug would like to have a word with you. This '70s horror film took cockroaches and transformed them from mere indestructible nightmares into something that Pennywise would heavily endorse for his own feats of terror. Not even the Radroaches of the Fallout franchise can inspire the same level of fear as these mini-beasts. Because the cockroaches in Bug can start fires.

We don't mean they start fires via terrified home-owners getting a tad overzealous with the extermination process. No, we’re saying they can actually start fires.


These fiery insects from Satan’s taint are released by way of an earthquake and things quickly get literally lit for the poor small town they invade. So, how did these mutant cockroaches become arsons, exactly? The scientist of the film discovered that they were able to start fires by rubbing their cercus together. He compares their cercus to exhaust pipes. Imagine the Fast and the Furious franchise but with cockroaches equipped with nitro boosters. And these aren't accidental firestarters either. They don’t engulf the world in flames for the sheer heck of it. These little fiery felons eat the ashes of the things they set on fire. As long as there are things to burn, there is food to eat. It's safe to assume they could survive almost any kind of apocalyptic scenario. And you thought they were hearty creatures before!

Fortunately for our dreams and the small town in Bug, these guys don’t fly. If they did, then our little planet would be theirs now, no questions asked. All hail our tiny fiery insect overlords.