If you've been following our many stories about bugs and other creepy-crawlies taking over the world, you may have been wondering when we'd get around to ants. While these colonial critters have been the subject of many fictional horror tales (the 1974 film Phase IV is one of the most chilling for my money), they fall way behind spiders when it comes to creepy news headlines... but we're going to remedy that today.
The video below was shot by a team of researchers who excavated an massive abandoned ant colony (or "city-state"). Much like an iceberg, the mound you typically see above the surface is just a tiny fraction of the colony's true size, and after the team filled the empty tunnels with cement, they dug around the entire thing to examine the complete structure.
What they found was an alien landscape that boggles the mind: highways, side-roads, air shafts, breeding chambers, fungus gardens, garbage pits... all of it looks like it's been mapped out by a planning committee, but it's really the product of thousands of tiny creatures acting as a single mind: a “super-organism,” scientists call it.
So they're smart, organized and super-efficient... and this is just one colony. Now think about what could happen if several of these underground city-states suddenly united against humans.