Our species takes a lot of pride in technology, to the point that it's pretty much the one thing we lord over all the others. But maybe we're too quick to pat ourselves on the back; after all, what we still consider cutting edge, some creatures have been doing since before we even came along.
6Termites Already Have a Hydrogen Economy
While companies and governments both are spending billions trying to build a future that runs on hydrogen, the tiny, stupid termite has been doing it for millions of years.
In fact, the reason termites like to chew on your house is that they have a whole intricate system working inside their guts that turns wood pulp into hydrogen, and hydrogen into energy.
They're so efficient that the U.S. Department of Energy is studying them in hopes of just stealing their method; scaling it up so hydrogen could be produced commercially with the same process--hopefully from a gigantic, terrifying 80 foot-tall robot termite.
Yeah, there's no way this will end poorly.
That's actually not the only place termites put our energy industry to shame; they build massive, complex mounds up to 30 feet in height with a specific design to manage climate control, using the shape of the mounds and tunnels to drive hot air circulation to specific locations (such as to the rooms that house their fungal gardens).
That's right: They have community gardens, which they ventilate with the equivalent of an HVAC system while the termite police chase all of the bums off the grass. And their entire nests are giant cooling towers, dispersing waste heat while the workers toil along inside.
When We Invented It:
We're still decades away from an efficient system for producing cheap hydrogen. And while we do have a firm grasp on central air systems (securing the patent in 1851) we came up with it about 250 million years after termites initially unveiled the technology. Though we do have a firm grasp of killing termites with rolled up ads from Best Buy. So we win, really.