TagAnts

Reign of the Crazy Ants

crazy-ants

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it’s real:

Outside, dead ants began pooling around the base of the house in heaps so high that they looked like discarded coffee grounds. (It’s common in Texas these days for a person who is shown one of these heaps of dead ants to take several seconds to realize that the solid surface he or she is scanning for ants actually is the ants.) Mike laid out poison, generating more heaps of dead ants. But new ants merely used those dead ants as a bridge over the poison and kept streaming inside.

“They literally come in waves of just millions,” Mike told me. (One Texas A&M entomologist confessed, “You figure these stories are laced with hyperbole, but when you get in there, it’s unreal.”) People don’t want to visit the Foshees anymore, and if they do, they leave quickly, before the ants can stow away in their cars and accompany them home. This summer, Mike had to cancel Therapy Through the Outdoors. Recently, he and his wife were sitting outside, watching a pair of bald eagles settle into a pecan tree for the evening, when Mike looked down and saw one of his bare feet overtaken by ants. He remembers thinking, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, running inside and running back out with his AR-15, the assault rifle he uses to take out hogs. He was about to open fire on the ants until his wife chuckled and he realized how ridiculous the situation had become.

“The distressing part,” he told me, “is having the feeling of something always crawling on you. Like, if you get around somebody who has lice, and now you’re always itching because you know they have lice.”

“So it’s psychological,” I said.

“It’s psychological,” he said. “And yet, you actually do have them on you.”

He tried leaving different foods on his floor overnight, to figure out how he might bait and kill the ants, as he did with the feral hogs. He tried doughnuts, crushed-up Cheerios, bread crumbs — “anything a normal ant would be attracted to,” he told me. He claims they touched none of it.

He can’t fathom what the ants want — why they’ve come. They are frightening because they make no sense, because of the utter disarray of their existence. “They run around the floors like they’re on crack, and then they die,” he said. “They’re freakin’ crazy, man.”

Full Story: New York Times: There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

(via Tim Maly)

Ant Nest Metropolis

As part of the documentary Ants! Nature’s Secret Power, cement was poured into an ant colony, allowed to harden, and then excavated to reveal an amazing metropolis:

Design by Superorganism

Check out the end of the video for to reveal an ant project equivalent to the Great Wall of China.   Could this be a model for producing emergent structures with nanotechnology?

I’ve got to admit, though, as more than one person has commented on various blogs, what they did in this video really sucks for the ants.Sorta like if giant aliens filled all the buildings in Manhattan with super alien epoxy and made a mold while recording the whole thing…which could make a great movie!! Mutual of Alpha Centauri’s Wild Kingdom. “Now, as you can see when we move in among these structures, these small creatures begin moving in all directions, probably as a strategy to confuse predators. My assistant, Snrblxx, will now start pumping in the quick setting polymer gel.”

© 2021 Technoccult

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑