Have you ever had any burning questions about ants, or simply wanted to know more about this common pest that a lot of us curse every year? The thing is, we understand that ants are not your favourite creatures. They’re sneaky, into everything, and they’re irritating. But, you may have a few more ounces of respect for these insects when you read up on how smart they are. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about ants:
1. Ants can mine: Yes, it’s true. In a special sight in Arizona ants are known for pushing garnet rubies to the surface when they come across them during construction of their anthills. Since these rubies are useless to them, they simply discard them for us to find.
2. Ants are incredibly strong: We have all seen an ant carrying along a ridiculously large leaf or piece of food from our kitchen. Sometimes many times the size of its own body. But did you realize that ants can actually carry objects up to 50 times their own weight?
3. Ants outnumber humans: What a terrifying thought, eh? There are around 7 billion people on Earth right now, but there is an estimated 10 quadrillion ants. That’s a lot. If they ever come for us, we may have met our match. Soon we could all be ant slaves. Speaking of which…
4. Ants are slave owners: Ants can enslave other kinds of ants when they need something done that they don’t feel like doing, or they need more members. Sound familiar to anyone?
5. Automatic ant reflex: When an ant dies, there is a chemical that is released which tells the other ants to move its body to the graveyard. But, when the same chemical is sprayed on a live one, the ants will do the same time, no matter how much the sprayed ant struggles. So are ants zombies or robots?
6. Simon says: If ants lose the track they are following, in the form of pheromones, they will simple follow each other in a never ending circle until they die of exhaustion.
7. Comrades in sobriety and drunkenness: When ants are drunk (don’t ask), the sober ones will carry the drunk brothers back to their nest.
8. Strength in numbers: When ants needs help, it calls on its comrades, and they come together with one super mind that will help them get the job done faster and easier. Many minds are better than one, anyway, right?
9. Ants have such strong teeth that they can be used as stitches/staples in a pinch (see what I did there?). Just get an ant to bite the place that needs stitches and then rip their heads off so that their heads stay locked in place. It can last for days.
10. Grandma ants: Queen ants have a long lifespan in the animal kingdom, reigning for up to 30 years at a time. They’ll give Her Majesty a run for her money, that’s for sure.
So, there you have it, 10 facts about ants that you probably didn’t know before. Does it change how you see them, or are you still looking at them as annoying pests? I bet you don’t think they’re so stupid now, do you?