87. Ant Soup

17 Apr

FACT: You are an individual, whilst you are connected to other people you have thoughts independently from those around you. Simple, congratulations.

This is not true for ants, they are pretty much a hive mind, to the extend that some treat the colony as an animal, as opposed to the individuals. This system for ants requires the single-mindedness and a dependence on the whole as opposed to the ants. This can unfortunately lead to some very stupid and deadly consequences for ants, it does although, provide the opportunity for some very clever things that can only be done with extreme cooperation.

Whilst the continued existence of colonies as working and thriving systems is within itself a marvel, the true marvel lies in taking the ants out of their comfort zone, specifically by pouring them out of a funnel. This is what I like to refer to, as ant soup.

When placed in a clump on the surface of a fluid the ants initially bunch together, then, whilst holding onto each other and spread out across the surface, forming a kind of floating ant raft, spreading in exactly the same way as a thick fluid. In addition to this they do another thing when poured out of a funnel,  across a jagged surface they do the same thing, they fall down slowly, in a completely solid cylinder of live ants/ Then they spread downward with gravity, some forming a bridge across gaps whilst the others slip and slide over the top.Just like a very thick ant soup.

The shared characteristics with water show how nature naturally repeats itself with the same processes over and over again, firstly with galaxies and Cheerios, now with thick fluids and ants. What’s next I wonder. Click below for the footage of the ant soup performing its varied tasks:

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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Trivia


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