Saturday, May 27, 2006

ADD Ants

I’ve spent a lot of time watching the ants here because they’re so interesting. Ok, well, not really. I spend a lot of time watching the ants because I don’t have anything better to be doing. And I’ve begun to develop a sort of affinity toward them. They are like no other ants I’ve ever seen - they aren’t malicious, they aren’t goal-oriented, and they aren’t even particularly well regimented. I’m pretty sure that most of them have ADD. Take these red ones I’m watching now by way of example. They are charging all over the floor in different directions as if they’re searching furiously for something that they never find. Two seconds in one direction, four in the next, two back the way they came. One would think that they’re looking for food, or for water, or even for paper products – for which they seem to have a strange fondness – but when they find one of these things they investigate it for awhile and then take off again. The only thing that really holds their interest for any amount of time are other dead ants. If you squash one another will quickly run into it, try to pick it up and carry it away. Or, at least for a little while. I’ve just watched one pick up a body, carry it back and forth across the floor, try to carry it up a wall and then dump the thing and carry on as aimlessly as before. These ants might be among the more bizarre things I’ve come across in this world. Surely, there’s a PhD waiting to be written about them.


Israel said...

strange that you mention the Ph.d. A friend told me that a study of such aimlessness revealed that sometimes that aimlessness is due to the infection of their brain with a parasite. The parasite drives them to do certain things that eventually lead it to the host the parasite really wants... a sheep. One reason that certain ants will walk endlessly up a blade of grass until they fall off and then do it again non-stop until the parasite gets what it wants... the at into the mouth of a new host.

Kelsey said...

You need to read, 'Faith, Madness, and Spontaneous Human Combustion.' He talks about this.