The Alien Invasion of Antarctica Is Only Just Beginning

At the bottom of the stairwell leading to deck five, an alien lies upturned on green nonslip flooring.

If you get close enough, you can see one of its six legs twitching and one of its translucent wings crushed to pieces.

Unlike the throng of Antarctic expeditioners aboard the RSV Nuyina, Australia's newest icebreaking ship, it hasn't cleared customs.

Days after the Nuyina departed its harbor in Hobart, Tasmania, the alien buzzed its way across the Derwent River, slipped through an open door and zipped into the bowels of the ship until this restless, twitching death.

Scientists call the creature Musca domestica. You likely know it as the housefly.

Even if it hadn't been felled by an errant hand or boot, it likely wouldn't have survived the journey to Antarctica.

At temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit, flies move lackadaisically and seem to barely get airborne.

I know this because I've been watching them as part of the crew onboard the Nuyina as it crosses the Southern Ocean. Surviving flies buzz at the ship's windows, trying to escape the upper decks.

If their prison break were to succeed, they'd find themselves facing seemingly endless waters, with nowhere to go.

The Southern Ocean provides a formidable barrier to entering Antarctica, a great wall of water and powerful currents that has separated the continent from the rest of the world for about 30 million years.

Couple that with freezing temperatures, and the Antarctic provides little hope for a wayward housefly trapped on a ship.

Days after the Nuyina departed its harbor in Hobart, Tasmania, the alien buzzed its way across the Derwent River, slipped through an open door and zipped into the bowels of the ship until this restless, twitching death.

One of the world's most formidable aliens, SARS-CoV-2, breached Antarctica in March 2020.

Aliens

The trespasser was likely in the airways of a tourist aboard an Argentinian ship that visited several small islands near the Antarctic Peninsula.

It wasn't until December 2020, when 36 members of the Chilean Navy stationed at the Bernardo O'Higgins research outpost tested positive for COVID-19, that the virus truly conquered the last of the world's seven continents.