General, Research, Technology

For years, ants survived in an abandoned bunker without light and food.

Ants are one of the most amazing insects.of our planet. Scientists have long known that these creatures can lift weights 5,000 times the mass of their own bodies. Also, researchers recently discovered that these tiny creatures are almost the fastest on Earth - in one second they overcome 108 lengths of their own body. Not a month has passed since the day of this discovery, and the ants have already managed to surprise us with the ability to survive even in the most extreme conditions without light and food. Scientists were convinced of this by studying the life of insects inside an abandoned bunker.

Ants can adapt to life even in the most extreme conditions.

The underground structure in which it was discoveredA huge colony of ants, located in the forests of Poland. It is part of the abandoned nuclear base of the Soviet Union and was used to store nuclear munitions. For a long time, nobody was interested in this place, but in 2010, researchers began visiting the bunker to study the bats living in it. In addition to winged mammals, forest ants of the form Formica polyctena were found in the structure.

It looks like an ant of the form Formica polyctena

Where can ants live?

Ants entered the bunker not of their own free will. The fact is that the forest inhabitants built an anthill right on the spot where a rusty pipe leading into the bunker sticks out from under the ground. It goes without saying that some individuals began to fall inside the underground structure and by 2013 their number reached a million. As many individuals were found dead, bite marks and other injuries were found on their bodies.

Ants fell into a silo from a rusty pipe

According to Hymenoptera Research, for a long timeResearchers were amazed at how tiny insects manage to survive in conditions without light and food. It would seem that in such extreme conditions any living creatures would have died long ago, but no - millions of ants continued to live and their number was constantly growing. Scientists managed to reveal the secret of such survivability of insects only a few years after the day they were discovered.

Ant hill located above the bunker

It turned out that the number of ants increaseddue to the fact that individuals living on the surface still continued to fall inside the rusty pipe. And they could survive by eating their kindred - among ants, cannibalism is not uncommon. Indeed, even during the “ant wars" for conquering territory, they often attack their own kind and literally eat them. And in these extreme conditions, without any food, insects can kill even their loved ones. It sounds like a thriller plot.

Maybe you know some other facts about the life of ants? Share in the comments or in our Telegram chat - we will be very grateful!

This discovery was evidence thatin addition to amazing strength and speed, ants also have fantastic vitality. However, Polish ants no longer need to demonstrate their adaptability to extreme environmental conditions. The fact is that after finding and studying the behavior of ants, the researchers lowered a wooden plank into the pipe. Using it, insects were able to get to the surface and escape from death.

Researchers rescued ants by installing a long wooden plank leading to the surface

Finally I want to recommend a documentaryThe 2006 film BBC Ants Attack. It tells about the life of an insect colony since its inception. Scientists have long known how the interaction of ants looks in a peaceful and hostile environment, so everyone should know about it already.