Thawing, Dissolving, Disappearing, Bleeding Etc.: A Scientific Study of Trauma, Time Travel and the Melting Polar Ice Caps

A list of things we know about the polar ice caps

1. The polar ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic are melting. Synonyms for melting are: thawing, dissolving, disappearing, bleeding etc.

If, by 2100, sea levels rise (filled with icebergs’ former insides) by the predicted one metre, Osaka in Japan, Alexandria in Egypt, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Shanghai in China will all be underwater. [1]

Already post-disaster, overwhelmingly black and brown communities fall into long-term poverty spirals caused by global warming, which is caused overwhelmingly by white people, like me and (likely) you, in developed countries like this one. [2]

2. You can tell how old a glacier is from its layers, a bit like rings on a tree, only according to a vertical axis. Because the ice forms from the incremental build-up of annual layers of snow, the lower layers are older than upper layers. Using a core drill, we can collect ice from the bottom of glaciers up to 800,000 years old. A new international project is currently working to exhume 1.5-million-year-old ice in Antarctica. [3]

3. Climate change is melting glaciers.

Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that are springing from dormancy back to life:

In a 2005 study, NASA scientists successfully revived bacteria that had been encased in a frozen pond in Alaska for 32,000 years. The microbes ... had been frozen since the Pleistocene period, when woolly mammoths still roamed the Earth. Once the ice melted, they began swimming around, seemingly unaffected.

Two years later, scientists managed to revive an 8-million-year-old bacterium that had been lying dormant in ice, beneath the surface of a glacier in the Beacon and Mullins valleys of Antarctica.[4]

To recap, dormant bacteria, including viruses we have never encountered before, are surfacing from ice caps’ melting pools. Climate change is causing Antarctic alien viruses to rise to the surface.


Linda Stupart

After the Ice, the Deluge, 2019


Ryan Sloan in Svalbard

4. Antarctica is the only continent on earth without Indigenous human inhabitants.

Our galaxy contains billions of stars that are similar to the sun. Many of these stars are billions of years older than earth. It is highly probable that some of these stars will have earth-like planets nearby and that some would develop intelligent life. Some of these civilisations of intelligent life would likely then develop interstellar travel, a step being investigated on earth now. Even at the slow pace of interstellar travel currently envisioned, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years. [5]

So, why have we never met any aliens? One answer is that aliens have been destroyed in extinction events; that is, we haven’t met any aliens because all the aliens are dead.

The ice age extinction event saw the annihilation of many mammals weighing more than 40 kilograms. [6] Recently, neutrino particles have uncovered what appears to be an alien megastructure buried beneath Antarctic ice. [7] This could mean that aliens once lived on earth and were killed during this extinction event. Three times since 2016, ultra-high-energy particles have spewed up through the ice of Antarctica, setting off the detectors at the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna. [8] Thus, we should also explore the possibility that aliens are trapped under the ice and, like viruses, just need to be heated up a bit.

5. If global melting rates continue at current levels, aliens will start emerging from the polar ice caps as they thaw.

6. It is also possible that aliens have already started emerging from the polar ice caps, and that we’re already being infected by them and/or are becoming them. This would explain the persistence of the psoriasis on my leg and of new diseases like Morgellons, where strange fibres and crystals and nematodes grow under the skin until the sufferer scratches and gouges and cuts and digs them out—destroying themselves.

7. We have already reached the tipping point.

In 2007, Arctic sea ice never recovered its summer melting losses, permanently locking in the change. Less than 10 years later, Antarctic sea ice started behaving similarly. [9]

In 2017, there were devastating floods across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and the Americas.

8. We have to get back to before the tipping point to stop the ice caps from melting and to save ourselves.

9. We need to learn to time travel.


Some things we know about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

1. Traumatised bodies are melting through cutting, vomiting, crying, leaking etc.

2. All bodies are heading towards entropy and/or death.

3. When events in the present trigger a body with PTSD, they experience an emotional and corporeal rupture—emotional and physical recurrences of the trauma event in the past. PTSD is always in the present, which is why you can’t hide from it. As if there is a hole between timelines, or, a glitch. Your body in the present disappears, or is overlaid by your body of the past—the no-longer-your-body of the event.

Figure 1: A normal human-life timeline (a) towards death


Figure 2: Then the traumatic event happens (x), and the survivor/victim lives as displayed here in red


Figure 3: However, all the possibilities of the traumatic event, including death, still exist on the blue timeline (a)


Figure 4: When PTSD is triggered, the survivor/victim body slips out of the red timeline (b) and into the blue timeline (a). Because PTSD is a glitch, this temporal shift can also occur diagonally backwards from any point on this line (so far only backwards!).

4. So, like the virus, the traumatised body is also always already both alive and dead.

To recap, there is a virus emerging from icebergs:

Virus is red and has a hundred tentacles and they cling to everything. Virus has a killer body. Virus is not alive: she does not have cells and she cannot turn food into energy and without a host she is an inert sac of chemicals and code. Virus is not dead: she has genes, she reproduces independently of any masculine force, she evolves viral DNA uses the cell’s and the body’s and existing machinery until it bursts in skin shreds, releasing the virus. In other cases the new virus particles bud off the cell one at a time and the cell body remains alive, though mutated.

Bodies quickly learned the way to survive the virus was to be violable, to be porous, to be lacking in boundary integrity, to be an old object, full of holes and able to die over and over again. People become forms: porous bodies exhaling microbes, spasmodically spreading deliriums, viruses, pollutions, toxins.

Those who were already used to it, already objectified, already abject, already broken, already dead, took this pretty easily. [10]

5. To recap, traumatised bodies can live through the virus because they are already familiar with death, mutation and survival.

6. To recap, traumatised bodies already function as time-travel machines.

7. We are the only ones who can save the future, the ice caps, the world.


Linda Stupart

After the Ice, the Deluge, 2019


Ryan Sloan in Svalbard


[1] See Adam Vaughan, ‘IPCC Report: Sea Levels Could Be a Metre Higher by 2100’, New Scientist, 25 September 2019,; accessed 1 June 2020; Josh Holder, Niko Kommenda and Jonathan Watts, ‘The Three-degree World: The Cities That Will Be Drowned by Global Warming’, The Guardian, 3 November 2017,; accessed 1 June 2020.

[2] Currently, I (a South African national) am writing this from England, the island desperately trying to regain its position at the heart of empire.

[3] Quirin Schiermeier, ‘Antarctic Project to Drill for Oldest-ever Ice Core’, Nature, 27 March 2019,; accessed 1 June 2020.

[4] Jasmin Fox-Skelly, ‘There Are Diseases Hidden in the Ice, and They Are Waking Up’, BBC, 4 May 2017,,mammoths%20still%20roamed%20the%20Earth; accessed 1 June 2020.

[5] John-Oliver Engler and Henrik von Wehrden, 2018, ‘“Where is everybody?” An Empirical Appraisal of Occurrence, Prevalence and Sustainability of Technological Species in the Universe’, International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 18, no. 6, 2019.

[6] Christopher Sandom, Søren Faurby, Brody Sandel and Jens-Christian Svenning,

‘Global Late Quaternary Megafauna Extinctions Linked to Humans, not Climate Change’, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, vol. 281, 2014, p. 1787.

[7] This claim is based on speculation among the PTSD/time travel/extraterrestrial science and art communities, but mirrors the alien megastructure discovered in 2016 by Tabetha Boyajian, located about 1500 light-years away between the Cygnus and Lyre constellations of our Milky Way galaxy.

[8] Rafi Letzer, ‘Mysterious Particles Spewing from Antarctica Defy Physics’, Live Science, 24 January 2020,; accessed 17 July 2020.

[9] Fred Pearce, ‘Arctic Sea Ice May Have Passed Crucial Tipping Point’, New Scientist, 27 March 2012,; accessed 29 June 2020.

[10] Linda Stupart, Virus, Arcadia Missa Press, London, 2016, p. 23.


The publisher wishes to note that several italicised words were inadvertently omitted from the essay ‘Thawing, Dissolving, Disappearing, Bleeding Etc.: A Scientific Study of Trauma, Time Travel and the Melting Polar Ice Caps’ on pp. 118-125 in the print version of  issue (57.1: Multinaturalism). As such, the complete essay has been made available here on the Art + Australia website. The publishers and editors extend their apologies to the author, Linda Stupart.

Linda Stupart is a Birmingham-based artist, writer and educator. They are interested in the possibilities for writing and making discrete grounded encounters with different kinds of bodies (of knowledge, objects and affect, as well as corporeal bodies) as a way to think through less alienated ways of living and thinking together. Their work has recently been shown/performed at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, and at Tate, The Showroom, Gasworks and IMT Gallery, all in London. They completed their PhD at Goldsmiths University in 2016, with a project engaged in new considerations of objectification and abjection.