Monday, November 24, 2008
Underground Cities That Weren't Built By Humans
I must have been ten or so when I first read the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. (Which I recommend highly.) As you might imagine, the aspect of the story that really captured my attention wasn't the thrilling plot (which involves super-intelligent rats and sinister government agencies) but rather the descriptions of the underground "city" the rats had created.
I was reminded of the rats of NIMH when I first saw the clip below on TV a few months ago. Scientists decided to study the workings of a large ant colony by pouring ten tons of concrete into a large anthill. (Not too nice for the ants, I'm afraid.) They allowed the concrete to harden, and then they dug the dirt out around it. As the ants' city was revealed, even the scientists were amazed.
Have a look at the video, which starts getting quite interesting around the four minute mark.