Posts tagged with ‘ants

The incredible physics of ants

They can flow like a liquid, bounce like a solid. Ants… how do they work?

What happens if you pour molten aluminum in an anthill?

Ignoring the inevitable ant flambe, you find out that ants build incredibly complicated and beautiful structures.

And now, watch some ants slide to their doom inside a pitcher plant

This short video reveals how the carnivorous pitcher plant Heliamphora nutans traps its prey with an ingenious two-step method — even if the ants in the video are able to get a grip on the plant’s dangerously smooth pelt, some well-placed water means the ants have almost no chance of getting out alive.


Slave rebellion is a common occurrence in ant populations

Ants are often seen as mindless little drones, carrying out whatever orders and whatever work has been programmed into their tiny brains without a shred of complaint. But as it turns out, workers ants who are enslaved by other ants do sometimes rebel against their captors. LET MY PEOPLE GO.

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How ants naturally speak the language of the internet

In a paper written by Deborah Gordon and Balaji Prabhakar of Stanford University, ants instinctively speak the same language as the internet. No, not “OMGLOLFAG L2 SNIPE”, but the actual coded structure of the internet.

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Winged ants have sex with a dead queen while a spider eats her

Oh nature, you’re so incredibly fucked up sometimes. So fucked up and so awesome.


Scientists create giant-headed supersoldier ants. Thanks, science.

Ants are pretty awesome little creatures, as long as they stay little creatures. But by activating ancient genes, scientists have created giant headed, giant-jawed supersoldier ants. They’re still mostly normal ant size except for their FREAKISHLY LARGE HEADS. It’s like an orange on a toothpick. It’s a virtual planetoid. It’s got its own weather system.

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Crazy hairy aunts… sorry ants… rampaging from Texas to Mississippi

From Texas to Mississippi, a species of ant known as the crazy hairy ant have been causing thousands and thousands of dollars in damage, destroying crops, beehives and even industrial machinery. It would have been funnier if it were a million crazy hairy aunts with a “u”, but okay, ants.

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Ant vs Spider, the M Night Shamalayan version

Only Shamalayan only wishes he could make movies this good.

Stupid ball of fire ants won’t drown even if you push it under water

David Hu and Nathan J. Mlot of the Georgia Institute of Technology investigated claims that when flooded out, fire ants will link together to form effective rafts:

“They’ll gather up all the eggs in the colony and will make their way up through the underground network of tunnels, and when the flood waters rise above the ground, they’ll link up together in these massive rafts,” Mlot said. Together with Georgia Tech systems-engineering professor Craig Tovey, the scientists collected fire ants and dunked clumps of them in water to see what would happen.

In less than two minutes the ants had linked “hands” to form a floating structure that kept all the insects safe. Even the ants down below can survive this way, thanks to tiny hairs on the ants’ bodies that trap a thin layer of air.

“Even when they’re on the bottom of the raft, they never technically become submerged,” Mlot said.


Meet the Brazilian rainforest fungus that turns ants into zombies

The Amazon rainforest is a crazy fucking place, with billions upon billions of species in competition with each other every hour of every day. And out of that cacophany of life, sometimes really weird species emerge like Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a kind of fungus that can mind control ants into giving them the optimal breeding ground. That picture above is the fungus happily sprouting from an ant’s brain after mind-controlling to the perfect spot.

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Ants marching in a death spiral

The vortex of ants, called the ant death spiral by some, is a circular mill where a group of ants (sometimes hundreds to millions of ants) get separated from the main swarm and ended up following each other’s scent in a circle. It’s called the death spiral because they continue to go in circles until they’re exhausted and die. Ain’t nature grand?


Five year time-lapse video of ants building a colony in a scanner

A guy put an ant colony in a scanner and then took a scan a week over the course of five years to create an amazing time lapse video. I was amazed that the scanner was still working after all this, but Delsyd, who sent me this video pointed out that there were probably two scanners— one for the ants and one to scan the scanner. Or something along those lines.

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