Why Do You Find Dead Cockroaches On Their Backs?

There are some long standing commonalities regarding cockroaches. One is that they can survive a nuclear war (which is true to a degree) and the other is that when they die they end up on their backs.

Funny enough, no matter how many times you find a dead roach, they do always seem to end up on their backs with their legs up in the air. Why is this? Why do dying or dead cockroaches somehow end up lying on their backs, like they have been vanquished?

It seems that there have been a number of scientists who have looked at this perverse conundrum (it is hard to understand why scientists do these studies, but often they make for interesting reading). One of the main theories is that when they die, rigor mortis forces the contraction of their leg muscles and they roll over on their backs. Another is that they are simply a top heavy yet extremely light creature that naturally rolls over anyway and that as soon as they die, they are no longer fighting the natural forces of gravity and they simply roll over.

No matter what the answer is, it seems to be a truism, dead roaches seem to play dead, like a possum. Only thing is, they aren’t playing…

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