Ants are both fascinating and weird insects. Fascinating, in the sense that they cooperate with each other just to get some food. Weird, in a way that they somewhat show some “appreciation”, more like a “military-precision reaction” to something as harmless as a vibrating iPhone?
Well, it’s all down to the invisible magnetic forces on Earth that tells those tiny food carriers how to find their way home, as Australian entomologist Nigel Andrew from the University of New England told the press this week.
The amazing video you’re about to see will tell you that when the phone starts to ring, the radio waves it operates on messes with their sense of direction.
A lot of ants use magnetism to orientate themselves. [They] have magnetic receptors in their antennae. If they’re travelling long distances they use magnetic cues from Earth to know if they are going north, east, south or west,” he said.
However, according to Australian social insect researcher, Simon Robson from Queensland’s James Cook University, even if the vibration of the ringing phone did appear to rile the ants up a little more than usual, forming several tightly-organised circles isn’t all that strange when it comes to organisms like this?
There are many ants that actually start forming in a circle without the phone. It’s an unavoidable consequence of their communication systems. Having the ants together like that, the shape of the phone may have something to do with it and the vibration might get them a bit more excited, but a lot of ants will do it even without the phone,” he said.
Hence, when these naturally blind army ants, lose track they begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle. With no other cues to tell them what to do, they will continue in this circle till they die of exhaustion.
AMAZING! That’s the word!