A cursory search on the subject led me to AMPERE Message Board and
Discussion Forum. Below are two interesting entries:
"Well it does not surprise me in the least that ONE ant survived! If
the researchers placed a bunch of ants all huddled together then the
story would have been different. You see with ONE ant in a microwave
oven most of the energy would have been reflected back to the source
so the microwaves hardly "saw" THE ant! ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON!"
"Microwaves of a domestic oven can kill insects, bugs, bacteria, virus
etc. or not? (this has nothing to do with microwaves ovens in use in
some post offices, according to news papers). Just reporting an item
on the radio in Central Europe. "Somebody has put an ant in a
microwave oven and the ant survived; It walked through the cold spots
of the bouncing waves inside the oven cavity. Clearly, insects (not
only an ant but also a fly and subsequenty a mosquito was tested) can
detect microwaves and they now how to survive in electromagnetic
radiation". Microwave insect and bug control - a new research fields?
The oven is clearly not a good insect control instrument. Better tools
have to be developped."
(Source: AMPERE Association, IPTME, Loughborough University,
Loughborough LE11 3TU, U.K., Copyright 2003.
The entries above mentions an ant surviving in a microwave oven. In
your case, it's a fly. How did the fly survive inside the oven? To
answer this, first we must understand how a microwave oven works.
A microwave oven emits evenly spaced, waves of energy called "standing
waves" that are focused on the plate inside your microwave. Only some
parts of the of the plate are exposed to these waves and that the
inside of the oven is not completely exposed to the waves. This is the
reason why the plate was designed to rotate and expose the food to
these waves. Inside a microwave oven, the air in the oven is at room
temperature. Air doesn't absorb the emitted waves of energy well, so
the air in a microwave oven doesn't get hot. Heat is produced due to
"molecular friction" when the atoms of the food are excited and
"twisted back and forth" (please click on "How Things Work" link below
for more detailed information). Microwave doesn't remain still in
objects and passes through most matter except metal.
Given the size of the fly and the space inside the oven, there is
still plenty of space where it can move safely. Even if it gets hit by
some of the emitted standing waves, its small surface area means very
little energy is absorbed to produce heat. For as long as it keeps on
moving and/or not remain in a place where it will be constantly and
repetitively bombarded by the emitted energy, it will not be "cooked"
inside and it will survive. The situation is similar to moving your
finger through a flame. Keep it moving and very little heat is
absorbed. Hold it in the flame and your finger will get burned.
A similar question has been answered in the past. You can read the
highly-rated answer of my colleague through this link:
Ants in a microwave oven.
How Microwave Ovens Work
How Things Work
Microwave Oven FAQ
insect survive "microwave oven"
ant survive "microwave oven"
I hope this helps you. Should you have any comments/questions, please
feel free to post your clarification before rating this and I'll
attend to you as soon as possible. Thanks for asking.