We've covered ants before, but everyone in the country didn't immediately start smashing every ant they came across, so obviously you didn't listen. And we'll all pay for it. When the empires of man finally fall and the memory of our hubris has faded to dust, ants will still be here, running shit. Like they have been for millions of years. And this is why ...
7They Want Victory at All Costs
Make a list of the people in your life for whom you would take a bullet. Would that list include your spouse? Your kids? Definitely. Your brothers and sisters, and your parents? Most likely. Some close friends? Probably. What about some completely random person you've never met? He's not the same age as you, he went to a different school, you listen to different kinds of music, he hates your haircut. The only thing you share is that you're both humans. Would you take a bullet for him? Would he take one for you? What if there was no bullet to take? Would you be willing kill yourself on the off chance that it might protect some stranger? No. Humans simply aren't like that.
Which is why you're reading this while sitting on the corpses of the slain.
But ants? Ants are absolutely like that. They don't give two shits about their lives, and we're not just talking about in wartime here.
Every night, ants of the species Forelius pusillus bury their colony entrance to hide from their enemies, with a few of the ants working from the outside. Unable to reenter, they will be dead by the next morning through starvation or dehydration, or maybe they simply willed themselves to die just so they could kamikaze themselves again in the afterlife in an attempt to kill ghost bees or whatever.
"You guys have a nice night. We'll scream you a lullaby."
According to Science magazine, this is "the first known example in nature of a suicidal defense that is preemptive rather than a response to immediate danger." These ants sacrifice a handful of their own kind just to close the door, and they do it every goddamned night. Put a load of clothes on to wash, tuck the kids in and send a couple family members on a suicide mission to lock the gate.
"I will close the ever loving shit out of that door! HARDCORE!"
Still, they only sacrifice themselves to defend or protect their colony -- they'd never just send wave after wave of suicide-destined ants for an unprovoked attack, right?
Wrong. Lasius neglectus (or "the Asian super ants") are naturally drawn to electricity, with a desire that's actually stronger than their need to eat and drink. Swarms of these ants can and have caused blackouts in Great Britain. Once one ant gets zapped, an alarm pheromone is sent out that calls swarms of their brethren to attack and attack until, eventually, the power goes out. Millions of ants will immolate themselves and, frankly, science has no idea why. And don't think only Britain is doomed. Other ants have been known to attack electricity, like the fire ants in this video:
If you don't know what's scary about ants that aren't afraid to kill themselves to destroy electrical power, then you've never had that nightmare where a nationwide blackout happens and billions of ants use the cover of prolonged night to crawl into our mouths while we're cowering in the darkness.
(Until tonight, that is.)