Concrete Poured Into Ant Colony Reveals Insect Megalopolis

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A video from Ants: Nature's Secret Power shows off the complicated, seemingly human abilities of non-human builders

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This extraordinary video clip is from Ants: Nature's Secret Power, a documentary about the world of ants as seen through the eyes of Bert Hölldobler, ant authority and E.O. Wilson collaborator.



Concrete was poured into an giant underground ant megalopolis, which acts as a mold. After the concrete hardened, scientists carefully excavated it to reveal the structure of the ant's elaborate "city-state":

Everything looks like it has been designed by an architect, a single mind, but of course that isn't true. This colossal and complex city was created by the collective will of the colony, the super organism.

It's kind of grown-up reverse ant farm.

Video link here. View entire video here.

via SwissMiss



This post also appears on The Improvised Life.
Image: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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