This fiesty little harbinger of the world's demise is Periplaneta japonica, a strain of cockroach so hearty that it can withstand the harshest of winter's chill.
Periplaneta japonica is native to Asia and has never been documented in the United States. Until now.
Insect bioligists from Rutgers University have confirmed that a specimen discovered on New York City's High Line is indeed Periplaneta japonica. It is the first recorded instance of the super roach stateside. The collective losing of shit has begun.
Even though the same experts who identified the anti-freeze vermin say there's very little chance they'll overtake the existing roach population, everyone in New York is basically picturing a wintry hellscape where not even our beloved pizza is safe.
The plague of pernicious cold warriors likely smuggled themselves into the U.S. by stowing away in exotic plants featured in one of the High Line's many gardens. It's doubtful they'll thrive in New York's already crowded roach community, but PANIC ANYWAY.
Perhaps we shouldn't fear our new insect neighbors, but learn to love them...
...and invite them into our hearts.
HA HA! JUST KIDDING! THEY ARE HORRIBLE AND NO!
UPDATE, Nov. 11th 11:30a.m. — The High Line has issued a statement saying they take issue with the findings of the Rutgers study, but are looking into it regardless:
We spotted species Periplaneta japonica last year and, as with all insects and other creatures that inhabit the space, have been monitoring any impact. Fortunately, we do not believe this insect is having a negative impact on the park.
The study speculated the source of the insect's arrival, but we understand it did not check other parks, natural spaces and buildings nearby – so it's truly anyone's guess! We source our plants through plant nurseries located mostly in the northeastern U.S., which go through routine USDA inspections to identify harmful pest/disease issues. No issue was raised with us.
Our team of experts will continue to keep an eye on it.
Gavon Laessig is a deputy news director and front page editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.