Having a rhino for a pet is a daunting prospect, but what about Australia’s very own Macropanesthia rhinoceros; the world’s heaviest cockroach.

Having a rhino for a pet is a daunting prospect. But Australia’s very own Macropanesthia rhinoceros, the world’s heaviest cockroach, should be taking home awards for cleanest domesticated creature.

These low-maintenance chunky monkeys weigh in at a magnificent 33 grams, measure up to 8cm and are fast tracking themselves as the newest household edition, right after the necessary dog, cat, bird, fish and hermit crab. They’re clean, economical, disease free, wingless, odourless, apparently come when they’re called, and are almost nothing like the common household roaches you find scurrying around your kitchen after hours.

They move at a glacial pace, though, so perhaps they wouldn’t be ideal for one of the world’s more bizarre pastimes: cockroach racing.

Brisbane’s Story Bridge Hotel is perhaps the world’s most famous cockroach racing venue, with a growing tradition each year on Australia Day. Playing host to what’s described as “the greatest gathering of thoroughbred cockroaches in the known universe”, there are 14 races throughout the day, as well as a Miss Cocky beauty and talent competition and other music and entertainment. Only in Australia, eh?

Where // The Story Bridge Hotel is at 200 Main St, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Check out www.storybridgehotel.com.au  or www.cockroachraces.com.au  or phone (07) 3391 2266.

Did you know? // The world’s only monument to a cockroach is the Destructo Monument at the Paroo Race Track in Chinchilla, Qld. Destructo was a NSW State of Origin cockroach who was “accidentally” squashed in the excitement after a big win – by a Queensland boot.

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