Ant observations

I had a plan. 


That was the plan. 

Endless fun. Endless entertainment. I was going to build a village. Hunkering was going to be fun. We would have ants, lots of them.

And “THE” ant farm came with also a standard ant farm.

My plan?  Create different ecosystems! THE ant farm was going to grow grass (could I create a sustainable ecosystem?!!) and until then I have a “cafe” where I could put the food. The cafe was separate from the tunnels. I was wondering if the ants would keep the food inside the “cafe” or move it into a tunnel. Oh what will happen?! The anticipation was insane!

The control (the standard ant farm) was going to be just sand and throw in a piece of popcorn and see what happens. 

THIS happened. 

Ugh. More ant deaths. More suffering, but I write about it for the hope that it helps others. Don’t buy fancy ant farm. The ant farm is not broken. No need for innovation here.

But meanwhile, in normal ant farm world, life is flourishing. And still is! Here are some pics of day 2 & 3.

So we watch the ants. Each ant seems to have a particular job. They only do that job. I’ve identified diggers, food movers, and the ones that I am most interested in are the gravediggers.

Burying their dead is a BIG thing in this ant world. They do it all day long. And this is not just because an ant dies daily (which does occur), but rather they keep unburying the dead and reburying them.

And this is no easy feat. They have to dig tunnels to get into the mound. Then one by one they grab a corpse out by their mouths and lift them while crawling over hills and other ants to bring them to the new site. In one day I saw them move the “grounds” 3x. From one hill to another.

I was taken aback by this. Insects such as ants move by instinct. They are programmed as I’ve seen their jobs. Why would this be a good use of ant power? Why in their 45 days of life would they spend their days moving dead ants back and forth? Why?! WHY?! This is terrible. WHY?!

Is ant life as painful as human life?

 I mean I never wanted to be an ant. Well…not until recently.  The simplicity sounded nice. You didn’t have to decide to go left or right. Transplant your child’s bone marrow or not. Nope. You just did a job all day long and so did everyone else. It sounded pretty harmonious. But, no. This looked like a terrible way of existence. So sad. Death everywhere.

So as I spend my days on WHY. This felt fitting and I found a pattern. In all that ant craziness I think I found an interesting trend.

WARNING: I am no ant expert. I just am a fan. An observer if you will. There is no FACT here.

I’ve noticed that they move the cemetery to the highest peak. Or at least this Brody ant farm is doing that. 

I’m serious.

As they build tunnels, the mounds get higher. Which mound is higher changes within a few hours and so does the gravesite. 


So crazy right?

Are ants spiritual? Is there an advantage to dead ants in the soil for the highest peak or as the mounds get higher they start digging more tunnels and “run” into the dead ants and then move them? Do they forget that they buried them?

Or have I witnessed a community that NEVER forgets.


Maybe they never forget their dead and always want them in the highest light. It’s not super crazy when I think about it. Humans built pyramids for their dead and have you been to Xi’an in China and saw the terra cotta soldiers?! WOW. Talk about taking care of your dead. 

Fascinating right?! 


In anticipation of your day, I’ve even provided a link on scholarly of articles, here.

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