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keywords for this image: apocalyptic, big brother, cockroach, futuristic, george orwell, nuclear war, sci fi, surrealism, survival myth, nineteen eighty four, larry butterworth, hiroshima, nagasaki, atom bomb

The cockroach survival myth seems to have originated with the development of the atom bomb. In The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore, journalist Richard Schweid notes that roaches were reported to have survived the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading some to believe that they would inherit the Earth after a nuclear war. This idea spread during the 1960s, in part due to its dissemination by anti-nuclear activists. For example, a famous advertisement sponsored by the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy and referenced in a 1968 New York Times article read, in part, “A nuclear war, if it comes, will not be won by the Americans … the Russians … the Chinese. The winner of World War III will be the cockroach.”

Daniel Riley


  • Trystan  Mitchell
    Trystan Mitchellabout 5 years ago


  • Thanks Tyrstan for the double plus comment, Cheers

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Martin Muir
    Martin Muirabout 5 years ago

    great art and writing larry, love the idea and image.well done mate.

  • Thanks Martin, I appreciate your comment and am glad you had a enjoyable look

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawabout 5 years ago

    Oh – that really is excellent photo manipulation. Great image – and equally great explanation.

  • Anna it is always good to hear from you, such good positive energy you have, Have a great day

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Rhonda Strickland
    Rhonda Stricklandabout 5 years ago

    WOW – this is awesome and I love the commentary written to go with it…

  • Thank you for looking and reading the commentary, Cheers

    – Larry Butterworth

  • RosaCobos
    RosaCobosabout 5 years ago

    And with time passing…
    a new human being would inherit the earth again…
    and I am saying “inherit” just by a habit.
    For..we do not own anything of Her.
    Well…we could ask Kafka….what he was thinking of when he wrote “Metamorphosis”.
    I find your work…terrible…not just for the approach of the "1984"´s social situation, but by the idea of these almost machine-creatures of hideous presence creating a new order, that owuld not develop but into our own nightmares.
    Rosa (is extraordinary, Larry. A hug….you have started very well this new cycle)

  • Thanks Rosa, I had to get the dark side of my brain cleared out for the new Year, now I can be more positive, have you read much Kafka, I tried but failed. A hug back

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Keith Reesor
    Keith Reesorabout 5 years ago

    Awesome work Larry!! :)

  • A big thanks to you Keith

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Heather Alley
    Heather Alleyabout 5 years ago

    I love the idea and textures. The clockworks on the roaches backs are fantastic, and the darkness of it all is wonderfully “terrible”. I like darnkness every nce in awhile, it makes the lightness of being that much brighter.

  • Kim McClain Gregal
    Kim McClain Gr...about 5 years ago

    Instant fav! Superb work!

  • Many thanks to you KIm

    – Larry Butterworth

  • banrai
    banraiabout 5 years ago

    great work & write Larry… probably in the seas sharks would survive!

  • Thanks banrai, I think other things would survive also.

    – Larry Butterworth

  • helene ruiz
    helene ruizabout 5 years ago

    wow! i missed alot! this is fantastic!

  • a great many thanks to you helene

    – Larry Butterworth

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