We have a pretty good idea about what sets humanity aside from the animals. We built the Pyramids, assholes.
Well, we hate to break it to you, but animals have been cranking out architectural marvels since humanity was still trying to figure out how pooping works. We're talking about things like ...
7The Great Wall of Beavers
Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space. But you know what can be seen? The 2,790-foot beaver dam of North Alberta, Canada.
Damn. (We sincerely apologize for that pun.)
First discovered by someone messing around on Google Earth, it's the largest piece of animal-built infrastructure on the planet, and according to some science people, it would have taken upwards of 20 years to build, and can be seen in satellite images from 1990.
Originally constructed to keep out enemies -- like China's Great Wall -- it's now a tourist attraction for humans astonished about how such a huge thing was built by such inferior creatures. The dam acts as a moat and protects the beavers from much of their land-based adversaries such as foxes and bears. In addition, the monstrous constructs also house several generations of beavers.
Nice beaver. (OK, that was the last one -- we swear.)
For reference, normal beaver dams clock in at around half the size of this one, but nonetheless, they can typically rival the Hoover Dam in length, which is pretty good for giant rats whose only method of construction is slapping things with their tails.
6Mile-High Termite Megacities
Termites are probably more renowned for tearing down infrastructure than building their own, but the bastards that actually take up residence in your house are really just the lazy ones. In the wild, termites live in elaborate mounds built out of soil, mud, chewed wood and clumps of their own poop. Though the word "mound" doesn't quite do them justice, as each one is a 30-foot-tall self-sustaining megacity that can be seen on satellite images. When we said they are a "mile high" we of course mean that on termite scale -- as in, that's how massive these structures would be if humans were to build one.
In terms of scale, that would be six times bigger than your average Midwest town.
Underground, the termite colony can sprawl for several acres, and provides a self-sustaining city with everything the bugs need for survival. They even have little termite motel rooms just for mating.
And it's totally flipping us off. What a dick.
The termites even farm their own resources. Colonies are equipped with underground farms where fungus is cultivated with collected plant matter. It's seriously like Hobbiton down there.
Most impressive is the fact that all of this is centrally heated. Not only do they build their towers facing north to south to regulate heat, tunnels throughout the mound serve as ducts to regulate the air flow and temperature of the colony, which is crucial to the upkeep of those cute little mushroom farms. To put this in perspective: Back when humans were still all living in huts made from mud and bark, the termites were already chilling out in enormous, air-conditioned arcologies. At this point, the only reason they don't simply take over the world is that we don't have anything they need.
Some day our future overlords will rise