User menu

Main menu


Ask Maxim: Blood, Cockroaches, and Poison

Answering all the questions you never knew you had (and some you did).

Illustration by Jason Schneider

Why do all cockroaches die on their backs?
Nate Gold, via e-mail

“Most insecticides are poisons that target a bug’s nervous system. When you spray a roach, those neurotoxins cause tremors and muscle spasms, which flip
it onto its back, and without muscle coordination, that’s the position it dies in,” explains Coby Schal, Ph.D., an entomology professor at North Carolina State. If you consider that a cruel, slow death, roll up this magazine and whack it.

What’s the most poisonous plant?
Luis Varga, via e-mail

There’s no known instant killer, but steer clear of the castor bean plant. “Its seeds contain the poison ricin,” explains Sara Wilcox at Guinness World Records, “and a dose of it [two millionths of an ounce] is enough to kill a person weighing 160 pounds”—after days of bloody diarrhea.

How many calories are in a cup of blood?
Martin Roth, via e-mail

“A recent study found about 200 to 250 calories per cup,” says Kelly O’Connor, a Mercy-
registered dietitian in Baltimore. Not bad, although blood lacks sufficient carbs, vitamins, and minerals…which explains why vampires are always so damn pale and skinny.

35,000: The average number of cookies a person eats in a lifetime. Wait—lifetime? Surely that should say “month.”

8:  Percentage of time the Earth has been at peace in the past 3,500 years. Why so angry, world?

7: The median number of minutes sexual intercourse lasts (or seconds, if you’re talking about Maxim staffers).

45: Most common age for a woman to have an affair. Time to consi­der hitting on your old geography teacher!

Got a question? Send it to

Need more? Check out Ask Maxim: Why Do Dogs Hump People's Legs?