Once a year in parts of England flying ants migrate. Seagulls catch and eat them and then become drunk off the ants’ formic acid, causing them to crash into buildings and moving cars.
Ants are self aware. In an experiment researchers painted blue dots onto ants bodies, and presented them with a mirror. 23 out of 24 tried scratching the dot, indicating that the ants could see the dots on themselves.
Worker ants take hundreds of 1-2 minute naps per day, so that they can essentially work around the clock. There is something similar in humans called polyphasic sleep. While many claim that polyphasic sleep was widely used by some polymaths and prominent people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, and Nikola Tesla, there are few reliable sources supporting that view.
Between 63rd and 76th streets in New York City, scientists discovered an ant species found nowhere else on earth. It has been nicknamed the “ManhattAnt.”
Ants are skilled farmers. Many species of ants purposely grow an edible fungus inside the nest that the ants feed upon, to ensure that the nest isn’t wiped out by starvation when food is scarce.
Ants enslaved by other ant species rebel against their masters by neglecting the work they’re assigned to do, and even killing the master species’ young. The slaves may not be able to save themselves, but by rebelling they can protect nearby relatives from the same fate.
When they are infected with a deadly fungal disease, ants medicate themselves by consuming food laced with hydrogen peroxide, which would normally kill them but helps keep them alive if they have the infection.
Scientists attached stilts to the legs of ants to prove that ants return to their nests by counting their steps. The ants with stilts overshot their nest by roughly 50% due to the new length of their steps.
Ants use “social immunization” – if one is infected with a fungus, they still lick the ant, spreading it throughout the colony. This practice both kills some of the spores, and builds immune resistance.
Ants cannot be seriously injured from impact with the ground after being dropped from any height, because they don’t have enough mass.