Current Status: Day 42 (20 March 2018)
Since our last update, the rapid changes to the fatberg that we initially saw have slowed down, as it acclimatises to its new surroundings. Its sweat levels have remained constant, as has its colour.
Fatberg's vanishing trick
However, there has been one notable change: the fatberg’s flies have vanished. The fatberg first started hatching flies in its quarantine period, and continued to do so once on display, so it wasn’t uncommon for visitors to regularly see a few flies flitting about the fatberg. But recently, fly sightings have dwindled and now a fly hasn’t been spotted in several days.
Sharon Robinson-Calver, Head of Conservation and Collection Care at the Museum of London reveals more:
"It’s hard to identify exactly what kind of fly the fatberg hatched, but we think it’s likely the flies were coffin flies, which feed off decaying matter, making the fatberg an ideal home. As a member of the Phoridae family, these flies typically have a very short life cycle, living between 14 and 37 days. As the fatberg has now been on display for 42 days, it’s a reasonable assumption that the flies have died.It is however possible that the flies laid eggs inside the fatberg.
We don’t know if this will lead to a second wave of flies, but as there have been no further sightings this would suggest that, if there are eggs, these eggs have not hatched. If eggs have been laid inside of fatberg it is possible that the condensation inside fatbergs case (which is created as the fatberg sweats) has created a very humid environment, which, at this current time, may be preventing the eggs from hatching. We do not know if potential eggs may hatch if fatberg starts to stabilise, or if the condensation reduces. Fatberg remains a very much live experiment."