Monday, November 24, 2008

Underground Cities That Weren't Built By Humans





I must have been ten or so when I first read the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. (Which I recommend highly.) As you might imagine, the aspect of the story that really captured my attention wasn't the thrilling plot (which involves super-intelligent rats and sinister government agencies) but rather the descriptions of the underground "city" the rats had created.

I was reminded of the rats of NIMH when I first saw the clip below on TV a few months ago. Scientists decided to study the workings of a large ant colony by pouring ten tons of concrete into a large anthill. (Not too nice for the ants, I'm afraid.) They allowed the concrete to harden, and then they dug the dirt out around it. As the ants' city was revealed, even the scientists were amazed.

Have a look at the video, which starts getting quite interesting around the four minute mark.

(Via Mentalfloss)


16 Comments:

Blogger Lady Dahlia said...

I saw something like that once, only they used lead instead of concrete. Ant colonies are really cool looking above ground, though I'm not a big fan of their inhabitants. D:

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

That is pretty amazing. I wouldn't mind living in something structured like that. Without the fungus cultivation chambers, that is...

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Miranda said...

Woah! Those ants are probably smarter than some humans I know :) Talk about utopia...

6:31 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

must. go. to. library.
That sounds so cool...but I can't believe they did that to the ants! :(
but it's a smart idea.

6:43 PM  
Blogger falcon said...

Incredible!
Same as L. Dahlia, I don't like ants much, but, wow, amazing.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Nellie said...

That is so cool. The cement in the picture looks like a nice decoration. :-D

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That. Is. So. Awesome!
But poor ants!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I agree with you Hazel! ;-; Poor ants!! But the structure really is amazing! I wonder how long it took the ants to build it...

10:04 PM  
Anonymous eternal espionage said...

That is... soooo wild!!!!!

10:45 PM  
Blogger sprizzle said...

Whoa.
-spring

11:22 AM  
Anonymous dangerous said...

So what if Alice shrank and then, instead of a rabbit hole, went down an anthill? <3 Mentalfloss, btw.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Alias said...

wow. who wouldnt want to live like that? without the cement ants though......................

4:26 PM  
Blogger creativeartist said...

1)creepy!thats insane!!!!!11!!!!!111!
2)I read the book THE RATS OF NIMH!!!
3)PLEASE vist my new blog: THE LEAVES
ARE FALLING OF MY PINE TREE
4):D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Irregular Kiki said...

Argh ants! They bug me EVERY SINGLE DAY! Always all over my cats' plates when I'm trying to feed them, crawling up my hand (YUCK), trying to climb on my cat's fur when he lies down in the soil(That's when I grab them off and throw flick them hard), constantly bugging me. I am a creepy crawly HATER and I just can't stand them!

-But they are smart! Wow!
(That's when I grab them off and throw flick them hard)

2:06 AM  
Anonymous ss (hebus-be-jesus!) chick said...

o my god. that was...im...that was amazing. for once i am speechless with awe. i hate ants, but that was truly beautiful. my god...it was magnificent!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Yasmin said...

in which they poured 10 tons of concrete into....

6:23 PM  

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