Harvester Ant Farm in gel Time Lapse 52 days

  • Published: 15 February 2013
  • On Christmas day my niece sent me the curious gift of an gel Ant Farm. I was surprised to learn Harvester Ants are common for ant farms as I was mostly familiar of them as having painful bites for their size (12 ants biting/stinging can kill a rat, and that they have a rating of 3 on the 0-4 Schmidt Pain Index which puts them above even fire ants, honey bee stings, yellow jackets, and other insects I thought were pretty painful)

    Because of the length of time there are bound to be errors with this kind of time lapse process inside a home. One of the cats had a spat with the dogs that knocked the tripod around slightly once. A few times you can see flashes of cat through the video. This is unedited footage to preserve its scientific integrity and to sustain my lazyness.

    Today on day 52 I'm declaring this project officially done. The cats knocked the ant farm off the shelf as they were found sleeping right next to where it was the following morning. Many ants have died as part of their natural 3 month life cycle, and with no queen to keep the hive coming it does come down to the end. Hopefully all that blue gel is tasty and that they had decent lives indoors in stable conditions with pentiful food.

    To make this I had a Linux camera driving a dslr camera with gphoto2, imagemagick, ffmpeg and other utilities glued together with some perl. A web cam in the mix acted as a light meter and preventing the dslr from shooting too many photos at night (although you can see a few black shots).
  • Animals Animals

Comments • 403

  • Le Volpe
    Le Volpe  3 weeks back


    • Leon siema
      Leon siema  4 weeks back


      • Micro Gaming
        Micro Gaming  4 weeks back

        My ants are almost done it’s been 2 days omg

        • Avery Gaming
          Avery Gaming  1 months back

          was there a queen

          • yedam ha
            yedam ha  2 months back

            can i use this video for my artwork?

            • Kanna Kamui
              Kanna Kamui  2 months back

              I have nothing to watch
              *Youtube* here are some ants building a home in gel

              • Max Dingle
                Max Dingle  3 months back

                At the start it looked like the monster energy logo

                • Fairest Oftheball
                  Fairest Oftheball  3 months back

                  So no one is gonna mention the smiley face on the left side of the ant farm ....

                  • the defender of pie
                    the defender of pie  4 months back

                    Why do they just pile all the stuff up top in no certain way? Thye don’t seem to do this when thye make anthills

                    • MRAHMAN
                      MRAHMAN  5 months back

                      My favourite part was when the ants built a tunnel

                      • Achilles Buena
                        Achilles Buena  6 months back

                        2:19 dude there was a face by your ants! XD its at the left side of the screen

                        • technoendo
                          technoendo   6 months back

                          At 2:17 - 2:18 its my cat sleeping behind the ant farm. He liked basking under the light. I miss him.

                      • Random Person
                        Random Person  6 months back

                        This is what it would look like if you had the power to see through the ground. You’d see some caves or tunnels

                        • _ Veliah _
                          _ Veliah _  7 months back

                          Ahh Brings back memories when I had an ant farm once in a plastic peanutbutter jar and put cotton instead of dirt
                          (I don't know why)

                          I fed them everytime I eat something
                          a few weeks in they grew some sort of green mold on their bodies
                          I didn't know what to do

                          I just left the jar open outside overnight
                          Hoping that they'll leave
                          next morning they were gone including the jar...

                          • Theconmicbud
                            Theconmicbud  7 months back

                            So how to get this colony

                            • Armorist _
                              Armorist _  8 months back

                              Next time with King of the Hill intro music

                              • EDSBeGaming
                                EDSBeGaming  9 months back

                                Half the tunnels they make serve no purpose what so ever...

                                • Pie1
                                  Pie1  9 months back

                                  It’s pretty cool how ants work together

                                  • Ickbarr Bigelsteine
                                    Ickbarr Bigelsteine  9 months back

                                    Truly fascinating!

                                    • Reich Motion Pictures
                                      Reich Motion Pictures  11 months back

                                      Suddenly have a feeling of Minecraft

                                      • Rat-King
                                        Rat-King  12 months back

                                        So do they they eat the gel and get the moisture needed to survive from it or you need to feed them something?

                                        • technoendo
                                          technoendo   12 months back

                                          Correct, the gel is their food and water, its made out of seaweed extracts and has a fungicide to suppress mold growth in this humid environment.

                                      • I am suga bored T.T
                                        I am suga bored T.T  12 months back

                                        Can i use this for school please i am going research on ants

                                        • Jessica Fowlie
                                          Jessica Fowlie  12 months back

                                          Dude these aren’t ants!!! These are a different species of wasp! They act like ants but how on earth did you get a hold of all these!!!

                                          • technoendo
                                            technoendo   12 months back

                                            Details are in the video description. I made no effort to acquire these ants. They were shipped to me in a tube labeled "Red Harvester Ants" by a child as a gift. Yes ants are from the order Hymenoptera which is the same order as bees and wasps.

                                        • the dragonborn
                                          the dragonborn  12 months back

                                          Im so getting one of these

                                          • BuildingDonut
                                            BuildingDonut  12 months back

                                            It’s so cool to see like a culture be built from ants and to think of what it is like in that ant society

                                            • Leo Richards
                                              Leo Richards  12 months back

                                              Golden Freddy be scaring the ants at the end

                                              • Juan Martinez
                                                Juan Martinez  1 years back

                                                What ant farm is this

                                                • Mark Hinderliter
                                                  Mark Hinderliter  1 years back


                                                  • Gianna D'Amato
                                                    Gianna D'Amato  1 years back

                                                    late but i had one of these things when i was like 7 and i had the GREAT idea of giving the ants a peice of soggy bread so I did but guess it was way too soggy cause the water flooded and drowned all of them. long story short my christmas present was not worth it.

                                                    • I'm a fucking idiot but I think that

                                                      Very cool

                                                      • adap panquez
                                                        adap panquez  1 years back

                                                        this is gonna sound weird at 2:30 or 2:35 it a start it look like a smiley face

                                                        • Jaidon Sieh
                                                          Jaidon Sieh  1 years back

                                                          Top 10 minecraft speed builds

                                                          • Kyle Rider
                                                            Kyle Rider  1 years back

                                                            Who else immediately went to amazon and searched for any farms lol

                                                            • ledfootfam99
                                                              ledfootfam99  1 years back

                                                              so basically a cat's maximum ability to hold themselves back from knocking crap off the table is 52 days. phenomenal experiment, Thank you!

                                                              • Purple Nerd
                                                                Purple Nerd  8 months back

                                                                yeah, the cat in the background lol, I am a cat person myself.

                                                              • theresa krupicka
                                                                theresa krupicka  11 months back

                                                                ledfootfam99 lol I know what you mean

                                                              • technoendo
                                                                technoendo   1 years back

                                                                This person knows how to cat!

                                                            • Jedidiah Steele
                                                              Jedidiah Steele  1 years back

                                                              Liked the video for the 🐈. R.i.p. good kitty.

                                                              • Miguel Garcia
                                                                Miguel Garcia  1 years back

                                                                Why do ants make tunnels?

                                                                • MrChanmh
                                                                  MrChanmh  1 years back


                                                                  • Smash4forlife Diggz
                                                                    Smash4forlife Diggz  1 years back

                                                                    why is the tank sweating???

                                                                  • 杨惠
                                                                    杨惠  2 years back

                                                                    So much fun to watch them digging.

                                                                    • biscoito da sôsô
                                                                      biscoito da sôsô  2 years back

                                                                      New house

                                                                      • I'm in The logang
                                                                        I'm in The logang  2 years back

                                                                        Relax that thing you see is a cat. Crazy right?

                                                                        • ll Kasper ll
                                                                          ll Kasper ll  2 years back

                                                                          Ha! The left side spells =D

                                                                          • Skeptical but open
                                                                            Skeptical but open  2 years back

                                                                            Who make the call to start digging a new tunnel? Is there some kind of project manager aunt?

                                                                            • Axe Scalibur
                                                                              Axe Scalibur  2 years back

                                                                              Only real men watch at 0.25x play back speed

                                                                              And finish the video

                                                                              • Kleines Böhnchen
                                                                                Kleines Böhnchen  2 years back

                                                                                This is a 2D World. The ant doesn’t know that? ^^

                                                                                • Taeyun Jung
                                                                                  Taeyun Jung  2 years back

                                                                                  Is that tarantula at the back ground

                                                                                  • Taeyun Jung
                                                                                    Taeyun Jung  2 years back


                                                                                    • aesthetic doggo
                                                                                      aesthetic doggo  2 years back

                                                                                      Theese ants are making art

                                                                                      • fire boy
                                                                                        fire boy  2 years back

                                                                                        I'm amazed that 52 days turned into 3 minutes and 7 seconds