Casting a Field Ant Colony with Molten Aluminum (Cast #071)

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  • Published: 11 February 2015
  • This is the first video showing the casting of a field ant colony with molten aluminum. The resulting field ant colony cast is impressive, being more similar in size and complexity to a fire ant colony than the small and simple colonies of other species that have been posted. This is Cast #071 and it is 17.5 inches deep and weighs 10.4 lbs. (45 cm, 4.7 kg).

    You can see pictures of this cast and other details at http://anthillart.com/castings/071/

    The bubbling of the aluminum during the pour is the result of the air being pushed out of the colony. I initially didn't mention this in the description, just to see what people thought was the cause. A lot of people knew that was the cause. Some didn't but I didn't realize that was the cause at the time since it never happened before. The reason it doesn't happen on other casts is that the tunnels on this cast are much larger, allowing the aluminum to flow quickly to the bottom without hardening.

    It's a good time to mention that I do this safely with full protection and am in no danger of being burned by flying pieces of hot aluminum. You never know what can happen when pouring molten metal into the ground so I'm always fully covered.

    The colony has a single opening with a series of wide flat chambers beginning just below the ground surface. Deeper in the colony, two long tunnels extend from the wide chambers and have smaller chambers spaced along the lengths of the tunnels. The tunnels are on average around 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) diameter, which is much larger than those of a fire ant colony and more similar in size to the tunnels of a carpenter ant colony.

    There are several names for ants in the Formica genus (wood ants, mound ants, thatching ants, and field ants). I prefer to call them field ants and it fits the behavior of the ones I have observed since they mostly nest in or near open areas and I have yet to see any in wooded areas. These particular ants have been identified as being in the species Formica pallidefulva.

    When their colonies appear and I notice them, there is usually a single colony entrance (but can be several) with 100s of ants pouring out of the colony removing dirt and discarding it around the opening creating a mound. After a few days they stop removing dirt, having finished the colony apparently. The mound eventually washes away from rain, leaving only the colony entrance visible. These ants seem to abandon their colonies fairly often and I have seen them do that and start a new colony nearby. The ants in this colony had done just that and built a new colony approximately 15 feet away. I'm not completely sure why they do this but have read that it can happen when the original colony becomes inadequate for some reason.

    So, it was logical to assume that this colony was abandoned (although there's no way to know for sure) and that was confirmed with near certainty after the casting. Anyone who has read this far please relay that information to the comments section. Thanks.

    Support Anthill Art by donating at https://www.patreon.com/anthillart
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 651

  • mj420 x
    mj420 x  1 months back

    They probably abandon it when the queen dies, creating the new queen her own colony

    • Luceat
      Luceat  1 months back

      Terminator Bubbles

      • Love Cervere
        Love Cervere  2 months back

        People complaining that this guy killing ants is wrong, yet you can literally buy ant poison at the supermarket for the express purpose of killing ants.

        • Husky Puppy and temmie animates

          0:19 *IT’S A VALCANO!!!* *AND EVEN ON* 0:27!!!

          • J K
            J K  5 months back

            Lets fill his house with molten aluminium...

            • bob Xie
              bob Xie  5 months back

              This one is so beautiful!

              • AllNature Zero
                AllNature Zero  6 months back

                I missed your video of these :"
                Please come back

                • User9000
                  User9000  7 months back

                  0:19

                  • stan lil meow meow
                    stan lil meow meow  7 months back

                    0:19 the class when that one kid reminds the teacher to give homework/collect homework

                    • no u
                      no u  8 months back

                      so my nephew loves this channel, but then he saw bugs life.

                      • Mary The Marshmallow
                        Mary The Marshmallow  8 months back

                        I don't have friends.

                        • Mark Price
                          Mark Price  8 months back

                          Anyone who has a negative comment about this has obviously NEVER been standing on a fire ant hill and not known about it until at least 500 of the vicious little buggers are biting them up and down both legs. Also, they have never had to deal with staff infections from fire ant bites. SO - "SNOWFLAKES" - unless you have had a personal encounter with these vicious, toxic creatures - KEEP YOUR FOOL COMMENTS to yourself, please. Fire ants are like Misquitoes - only good one is a DEAD one.

                          • Aleksandar Vil
                            Aleksandar Vil  9 months back

                            1:30 Christmas tree 🌲🌲 🌲

                            • Sazzorak Skills
                              Sazzorak Skills  9 months back

                              It’s so satisfying when he digs it out.

                              • Familie Prinz
                                Familie Prinz  9 months back

                                Horny Tree (Holy !)

                                • Wise Salamander
                                  Wise Salamander  9 months back

                                  Satisfactory!

                                  • Mirza Addan
                                    Mirza Addan  9 months back

                                    You took thousand fire ants life

                                    • Renville80
                                      Renville80  9 months back

                                      Mirza Addan Have you ever accidentally uncovered a fire ant nest? I bet you never have, given that you are on their side.

                                  • Avicularia Kael
                                    Avicularia Kael  10 months back

                                    Please tell me that it was for sure abandoned. I plan on keeping F. pallidefulva.

                                    • Dream Girls Daily
                                      Dream Girls Daily  10 months back

                                      Do the other ants laugh at these ants and their pathetic tunneling skills?

                                      • Monster_ ShockTrooper
                                        Monster_ ShockTrooper  11 months back

                                        0:19 0:27

                                        • Emorej Dc
                                          Emorej Dc  12 months back

                                          um...you should stop saying those bad words cause God is watching you and God can see those words

                                          • 🦉Brianna_owlfan🦉
                                            🦉Brianna_owlfan🦉  1 years back

                                            Splatters

                                            • Steve Hillier
                                              Steve Hillier  1 years back

                                              The revenge of the ants is coming

                                              • Katrina Canlas
                                                Katrina Canlas  1 years back

                                                it kinda looks like a stnd for rings or small jewelry...or a small city

                                                • Alexis Ann
                                                  Alexis Ann  1 years back

                                                  Do you sell these?

                                                  • Bon Allors
                                                    Bon Allors  1 years back

                                                    This might be my favorite piece. I love the shape

                                                    • shoto todoroki
                                                      shoto todoroki  1 years back

                                                      Why does he always cast these at night? Im just wondering XD

                                                      • 90'sChic
                                                        90'sChic  1 years back

                                                        These are fun to watch, I have to admit the first time I saw one of these I was expecting a mini Pompei with little ants looking like they were screaming and running. Too bad

                                                        • JG124
                                                          JG124  1 years back

                                                          Just fyi, there were no ants in this colony, this one was abandoned this is just the tunnels they made. It says so in the description.

                                                          • Jared Scott
                                                            Jared Scott  1 years back

                                                            I just watch this because i hate ants

                                                            • Ice Wing
                                                              Ice Wing  1 years back

                                                              By this time, most of the ants in the country have heard of the shiny plague of death. The ants are concealing their ant hills, but even so the plague seeks them out brings their colony to the ground. The ants have tried all they could think of. There is no escape.

                                                              • Flyin Mintbunny
                                                                Flyin Mintbunny  1 years back

                                                                Help. I’ve binged like 10 of these and I can’t stop!

                                                                • rowen
                                                                  rowen  1 years back

                                                                  i don’t know why but these trigger my ASMR. I like that you keep it quiet and don’t add obnoxious music over it.

                                                                  • Sketching and Painting
                                                                    Sketching and Painting  1 years back

                                                                    Pure Night Voice...........

                                                                    • Nixusy
                                                                      Nixusy  1 years back

                                                                      Did this make anybody else hungry? No.. just me.. okay...

                                                                      • Nannett in.the.night
                                                                        Nannett in.the.night  1 years back

                                                                        PS...DO YOU SELL THESE...I WANT ONE...so fricken 😎💰👍

                                                                        • Nannett in.the.night
                                                                          Nannett in.the.night  1 years back

                                                                          I like this one...bubbling hot👍😈

                                                                          • Theo Munroe
                                                                            Theo Munroe  2 years back

                                                                            Imagine seeing your neighbor doing this in the middle of the night

                                                                            • Love Eggos
                                                                              Love Eggos  2 years back

                                                                              0:21 lol

                                                                              • Jim Clarke
                                                                                Jim Clarke  2 years back

                                                                                Great work, hope you are not drinking to much coke, or beer )))

                                                                                • Joe S
                                                                                  Joe S  2 years back

                                                                                  Do you sell this?

                                                                                  • Michael Doidge
                                                                                    Michael Doidge  2 years back

                                                                                    "Bonsai" scream the soldier ants....ya know, because the sculpture looks like a...Nevermind. (0;

                                                                                    • Mermaid Annika
                                                                                      Mermaid Annika  2 years back

                                                                                      His poor backyard tho
                                                                                      Just imagine what it would look like

                                                                                      • B-atiful!
                                                                                        B-atiful!  2 years back

                                                                                        May I just say
                                                                                        Field ants are the only ones who have any idea how to build decent nests

                                                                                        • IgnitedStream
                                                                                          IgnitedStream  2 years back

                                                                                          The art is nice but a bunch of ants died no fair for them

                                                                                          • Buscuits Acc
                                                                                            Buscuits Acc  2 years back

                                                                                            that's a very expensive christmas tree

                                                                                            • Khen Carrie Trillanes
                                                                                              Khen Carrie Trillanes  2 years back

                                                                                              if you were the ant

                                                                                              • II AOA II
                                                                                                II AOA II  2 years back

                                                                                                This is the nicest I've seen.