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.)
6They Have Advanced Biotechnology
Humans go to college to find out what they want to do in life, and they study or train or practice to be good at whatever it is they choose. Ants, meanwhile, are assigned tasks at birth, and their bodies will physically change to meet those tasks. If some ants are going to be soldier ants, then they will "develop harder shells than their worker sisters, and have round, flat-shaped heads that look like big round plates and that they use to blockade the nest from enemies." They're born the same, but ants from the exact same species will morph, depending on how much or little they're fed, to serve a function for society. That's like a human toddler suddenly developing a natural fireman's helmet at 2 years old.
Better than in the womb.
The only job of the honey pot ant is to get fat (ants have special stomachs that can store liquids, so they can later regurgitate and feed other ants). These "repletes" are fed fluid by other ants until they balloon up to the size of a grape. These sumo bugs can hold fats, water, nectar or even the body fluids of dead bugs, in case, you know, someone wants that (ants don't judge). They also hang from the ceiling all day long, like some kind of spit and bug-juice pinata. If an ant's thirsty, it'll drink from these awful, juicy fountains. If not, they'll top them off by spitting into their mouths, because nothing ants do will ever be cute.
And these fluids never spoil or ferment. Ever. Ants are the only creatures on Earth who have created a living mobile food-storage unit full of life-sustaining grossness that will never go bad. And if one replete dies, some other ant will step right in and turn into a replete.
"I'm a spit pinata now? But I was just the mayor, like, five minutes ago."
They use these natural scissors to cut up leaves to use as fertilizer in their fungus gardens (though we have no reason to suspect they won't also use them to cut through our eyelids when we're sleeping).
"We totally could. Sometimes we even practice."
Their jaws are powerful enough to cut through leather, and did we mention that they vibrate a thousand times per second? Yes, they've got turkey carvers built into their faces.