Celebrate Valentine's Day by Naming a Cockroach for Someone You Love — or Hate
Roses are red, violets are blue… and cockroaches are another way to say "I love you."
The Bronx Zoo in New York City is bringing back its annual Name-a-Roach gift package justi n time for Valentine's Day traditional by allowing people to name a cockroach for their loved ones, or maybe a deserving ex. The zoo offers the chance to name one of more than 10,000 giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches for only a $15 donation and comes complete with an email certificate to commemorate the occasion.
"The Name-a-Roach offering is a fun, light-hearted way to make sure your loved one knows your feelings will last a lifetime while helping the Bronx Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) further its mission to save wildlife and wild places in New York and around the world," the zoo wrote in a statement.
Madagascar hissing cockroaches can reach nearly 4 inches long and are the world's largest roach species, according to the zoo, but are not considered pests as they rarely enter people's homes. The hissing sound they make is emitted as a defense mechanism.
Those who want to go all out can upgrade to "The Works" package, which comes with a knit beanie, a pair of "roachy" socks, and a "very crawly Valentine's Virtual Encounter" with a live Madagascar hissing cockroach and another animal guest. The upgrade costs $75 and the virtual animal encounter can be scheduled on Feb. 12, Feb. 13, or Feb. 14.
The zoo also sells cockroach-themed merchandise separately.
The Bronx Zoo has been offering the buggy Valentine's surprise since 2011 and said people have named roaches after loved ones and family over the years as well as been inspired by politics, music, and movies.
Beyond insects, there is a wide variety of perfect Valentine's Day gifts available that are a step up from flowers and chocolate (though we'd never say no to those either). From cozy faux shearling-lined sweatpants to custom map cufflinks, there's a perfect way to say "I love you" for everyone on your list.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.