Engineering the World’s Largest Ant Hill
Scientists pump a giant ant colony full of concrete, then excavated to reveal the complexity of its inner structure.
Humans are obviously Earth’s most prolific engineers. We’ve sent missions into space, built towers into the sky and designed machines which can do things our ancestors couldn’t even imagine. I mean seriously, humans invented the “Double Down.” Case Closed.
Basically, we win the blue ribbon in Engineering and every other species is playing for second place, right? Check out the entry from one of the world’s smallest engineering species, the Ant.
Scientists have long wondered, just what their colonies look like. We’ve seen 2D versions in the Ant Farm, but without a full 3D representation it’s difficult to appreciate the engineering, artistry and labor involved with a giant ant colony. These brilliant scientists had the idea to pump a giant ant colony full of concrete, then excavated to reveal the complexity of its inner structure. It took a LOT of concrete and the results were amazing!
Ant Hill Fun Facts:
- Concrete required: 10 tons
- Time for concrete to fully harden: 30 days
- Excavation time: Weeks
- Soil removed to excavate: 40 tons
- Area of entire colony: 50 square meters (150 ft2)
- Vertical height of entire colony: 8 square meters (24 ft2)
- Ant-loads of dirt to create colony: Billions
Each trip to the surface for an ant was the equivalent of a human carrying four times their weight, a kilometer uphill!
Check out another Ant hill Casting this time in Aluminum:
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