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A sophisticated underground ant city once populated by millions of insects has been discovered by a team of scientists. The abandoned megalopolis, which features vast subterranean highways, paths and gardens, was found buried beneath the earth in Brazil. It is thought to have housed one of the biggest ant colonies in the world. But no one is sure when the leafcutter species left and what caused their demise.
Experts poured ten tonnes of concrete into holes on the surface – which served as air conditioning ducts for the ants – to expose the tunnels by solidifying in the space. It took ten days to pour the material down the labyrinth of channels, which covered an area of 500sq ft and extended to 26ft below the surface. After a month, scientists, led by professor Luis Forgi, began digging and revealed the incredible city described as the ‘ant equivalent of the Great Wall of China’.
Each insect would have repeatedly carried loads of earth, weighing more times more than the worker, a distance of what would be just over half a mile in human terms. In total, they excavated around 40 tonnes of soil to create the labyrinth The network was designed to allow good ventilation and provide the shortest transport routes. It features scores of highways connecting the main chambers and off the main routes, are side roads. From there, paths branch out and lead to the many rubbish pits and fungus gardens, which are grown from the vegetation collected by the workers.
Originally posted by IkNOwSTuff
Does anyone else find it a bit harsh that people for no real reason other than curiousity came along and just basically destroyed probably billions of these ants and the home they worked so hard on?