YouTube is an amazing platform that is brimming with unique content from around the world. If you have a keyword in mind, you can certainly find the corresponding video! Having said that, sometimes the internet can create videos that leave you scratching your head. In this instance, a 2003 video titled ‘Casting a Fire Ant Colony With Molten Aluminum (Cast #043) would take the cake! The strange video would feature an unknown man using molten aluminum to cast the inside of an ant colony!
If you think this story is odd, wait until you see the pictures for yourself!
Introducing the Ant Colony
In order to properly understand this story, we must first take a broad look at the typical ant colony. Noted by the hills overtop the colony, ant colonies are areas where large groups of ants nest together. Ant colonies are typically rigorously organized and ruled over by a single queen. While we wouldn’t want to step on an ant colony, we sure as heck can appreciate their splendor from afar!
A Teeming World Below the Surface
Ant colonies are most often noted by the massive hills that sprout overtop them. However, beneath the hill of dirt, you will find your way into a fascinating world teeming with activity. Ant colonies are a proverbial metropolis of biological action. Underground tunnels are dedicated to the Queen, worker ants, larvae, and pupae.
As it turns out, the movie Antz may have gotten the scope of an ant colony largely correct (in its own way)!
Beginning Our Story
Our journey begins in the deep recesses of YouTube where an unknown individual uploaded a strange video. The short video, posted in 2003, featured the aforementioned man pouring molten metal into the ant nest. To the casual observer, this video seemed to show the man engaging in an act of wanton destruction.
Had the mysterious figure just killed the ant colony for fun?
More Than Meets the Eye
The mysterious YouTube video began with the man showing a variety of close-up shots of the nest. During this time the man would also be shown preparing a bucket filled with liquid. This would turn out to be the molten aluminum that we highlighted above. Why was this man pouring aluminum into an anthill? What was the goal?
Introducing the Molten Aluminum
As it turns out, the mysterious figure was performing something now known as an anthill cast. By using liquid molten aluminum, it is possible to completely cast the inside of an anthill. Using molten aluminum and a bucket tilt allowed the mysterious figure to fill the underground ant structure with the aluminum. Hopefully, there were no ants inside!
Properties of Molten Aluminum
If you were thinking about attempting this experiment at home, you had better be careful. In order to work with molten aluminum, you are going to need to work with a furnace or kiln that can reach up to 1220 degrees Fahrenheit. You must also be prepared to maneuver the liquid around with the proper tools while understanding the immense danger involved.
A Startling Chain Reaction
While there is danger in an experiment like this, the mysterious figure handled the entire experiment with a sense of professionalism. Within seconds, the molten aluminum created a chain reaction within the nest. The nest began to screech and spit as the molten aluminum settled into place. Steam would begin pouring out of the ground like a scene from a movie!
Excavating the Ant Hill
After the molten aluminum was given time to work, the figure decided to excavate the entire structure. Using a simple trowel, the man began digging around the structure as he destroyed the majority of the nest walls beneath the soil. Once freed from the nest walls, the man was able to lift the entire section out of the ground to reveal something quite unique!
What do you think he found underground?
Unearthing a Hidden Treasure
In order to unveil his rare and unique treasure, the uploader would grab a power hose to clean the structure. In what was an incredibly satisfying moment to watch, the man washed away soil to reveal something incredible and beautiful! Once the soil was gone, the full structure of the anthill remained in a cast of molten aluminum!
Meet the World of Anthill Art
The video was posted to a channel titled Anthill Art. A cursory glance through the YouTube account would reveal dozens of other items cast in molten aluminum. As far as hobbies go, this one was pretty fascinating to stumble upon!
What makes the Anthill Art channel particularly exciting is the fact that he sells his casts online!
Analyzing the Complex Structure
More than just a piece of modern art, traditional ant hill structures are fascinating and complex. These subterranean structures feature tunnels that sprawl out in a network of mazes. The construction of an underground anthill is a wonder of nature and one that we should not gloss over!
Unveiling the Hidden Ingenuity of Nature
In order to get an accurate and intriguing look at this miracle of nature, molten aluminum can be used to create a mold of the underground structure. As the metal fills the web of tunnels, the molten aluminum begins to cool. Once completely cooled, the artist will be left with an accurate and permanent mold of the anthill below.
We wonder how some of the larger anthills appear once cast in aluminum!
Stunning Creation of Man and Nature
These works of art are as stunning to look at as they are educational. Anthill Art began creating his series of molten anthill projects in 2003. One of his largest projects ended up weighing in at an eye-popping 18 pounds!
Can you imagine having a nearly 20lb anthill structure to decorate your home with?
Anthill Art Goes Viral
Apparently, people on the internet could not get enough of the massive structure either! It would only take a couple of months for Anthill Art to amass 7 million views on his video. In the intervening years since its original upload, the video has gained a massive 94 million views. Those are prime pop-star numbers and yet viewers came to simply see an anthill!
A Sprawling World of Unique Art
Anthill art has become an increasingly popular hobby in the years since the channel went viral. now, individuals all around the world are using molten aluminum to navigate the subterranean systems below the earth. While this is a fascinating and beautiful hobby, there have been some outspoken critics!
Criticism Is Pointed At Anthill Art
It didn’t take long for detractors to come out in full force. Some individuals thought that it was particularly cruel to use molten aluminum on an anthill. After all, if there were ants left in the structure then they would surely suffer before dying a painful death. Who would want to do this to innocent creatures of nature?
Strong Negative Reactions From Certain Crowds
One commenter would go so far as to say that the works of Anthill Art had made them sick. The post gained traction on the Anthill Art Facebook page where the user exclaimed, “How can you call yourself an artist?” Others would probe the artist by saying, “Murder isn’t art.” It didn’t take long to realize that this was not an unpopular sentiment. People were mad!
The Controversy Surrounding Anthill Art
As the Anthill Art channel continued to grow, so too did his following of detractors. While others called the artist’s work ‘murder’, many more claimed that his artform was a sign of immaturity. One user stated, “Guess you never grew out of your childish need to kill animals, insects, and who knows what else.”
Rallying Cry Against Anthill Art
Detractors of the beautiful artwork would go on to claim that they ‘weren’t even a PETA supporter’ but they still felt obligated to speak out. Where do you land in this conversation? Do you believe there is anything inherently wrong with making anthill art?
Why Did He Make the Art
As the internet is prone to do, a large enough backlash was created that the owner of the Anthill Art channel felt obliged to defend himself. The man responded to critics by saying that he focused on creating molds of abandoned nests. In the rare event that the nest was not abandoned, the artist claimed that he would only cast colonies of fire ants.
What ARE Fire Ants?
If you are familiar with fire ants, you might be okay with their nests being flooded with molten aluminum. Fire ants are a type of stinging ants that can render great pain and suffering onto the targets of their ire. Fire ants are uniquely colonized by female workers with one queen ant responsible for their eggs.
Dangerous Little Critters
Fire ants would make their way over to America via a boat from South America. They can swarm their targets and begin stinging them within just ten seconds if required to protect their nest! Fire ants can both sting and bite with their sting containing painful venom.
A swarm of fire ants has been known to cause an anaphylactic shock as well as death.
Anthill Art and Responsibility
Even though fire ants are hard to like as a rule, the artist still feels obligated to do his best to protect the creatures. The artist would reveal in an interview with Metro, “I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out.” The artist would go on to point out that he only does his work ‘sparingly’ and that his yard is still overrun with ants.
Finding Support For Anthill Art
While Anthill Art may have felt chastised, he definitely had his fair share of supporters. Paul Hetherington of Buglife would go on to support the efforts of the artist. For Paul, as long as the structure was abandoned, the art could serve as a useful educational tool. Paul hedged his statement by saying that populated ant hills should be left alone, claiming that it was an extremely cruel way to kill them.
Anthill Art Continues to Grow
Despite the controversies surrounding his work, the Anthill Art Facebook page would continue to grow by leaps and bounds. While the YouTube channel continues to amass millions of views, nearly 40,000 users have begun following the artist on Facebook.
Others Take up the Medium
While the Anthill Art YouTube channel wasn’t the first to make an aluminum mold, it certainly popularized the medium. Nowadays, you can find aluminum anthill artists practicing their trade all over the world. Even though the art form has become popular, seeing a new mold never ceases to amaze us.
Truly Stunning Creations Around the World
While we are focused on the realm of anthill art, we feel obligated to teach you about the largest colony of ants on the planet. Located in southern France off the Atlantic Coast, you can find your way to an ant colony that sprawls for nearly 3,700 miles! This super colony has since made its way to the Guinness Book of World Records!
Other Explorations into Nature
While we may have brought you here to discuss anthill art, we have to showcase another insightful look into the natural world. As it turns out, Anthill Art wasn’t the only YouTube channel looking to change the conversation surrounding what goes on inside of an insect home.
Meet Dan and Lincoln Markham
Dan and Lincoln Markham are a father-and-son duo that rose to prominence on YouTube through their series, What’s Inside. The series focused on cutting open everyday objects to see what they looked like on the inside. Can you see where this is going?
Dissecting a Wasp’s Nest
The family of YouTubers would find their way to an old wasp’s nest on the internet. After ordering the wasp nest, the family decided that they were ready to cut it open to see what was inside. Can you imagine what the inside of a wasp nest looks like? We almost don’t want to know!
Birth of an Obsession
Lincoln, the youngest in the family, was the inspiration behind the What’s Inside YouTube series. Lincoln decided to cut open a series of sports balls for a science experiment at school. This would lead the young scientist to want to explore other objects such as the aforementioned wasp nest!
Welcome to ‘What’s Inside’ With Lincoln
At first, the family decided to share their videos just for fun. After all, they didn’t have any dreams of becoming famous! As with the man behind the Anthill Art YouTube Channel, fame would come for the What’s Inside team all the same. Soon the YouTube account was racking up millions of views!
What’s Inside a Wasp’s Nest?
The family had decided to cut open a wasp’s nest after seeing so many of the structures in their own yard. Dan would be forced to order an old wasp nest online like the ones in their yard were still quite inhabited by wasps! As a rule, we think it is a good idea to leave populated wasp nests alone, don’t you agree?
A Family Experiment
In the beginning, Dan was hesitant about opening the nest. After all, what if there was a wasp still flying around on the inside? Dan was eventually convinced to hack the object open thanks to the support of his young sons. Dan said, “I just bought a wasp nest for like 30 bucks from somebody in Wisconsin!”
The Big Reveal
As their dad donned gloves to open up the wasp nest, Kai would eagerly exclaim, “I can’t wait to see what’s inside.” Of course, viewers echoed Kai’s sentiment as millions of views began to rack up on the video. Finally, the moment had come. We were finally going to see what was inside of this wasp nest!
Cross-Section of a Wasp Nest
We aren’t sure what you might have expected, but the inside of the nest showed a variety of tiny compartments in hexagon-like shapes. Apparently, wasps care for their larvae by bringing them semi-digested caterpillars to eat. Can you imagine that poor and unfortunate caterpillar?
Impressed by the Reveal
Lincoln was immediately taken aback by what his father had revealed. Lincoln would exclaim, “That’s amazing” while Kai would say, “They still have dead eggs in there!” The family would comb through the wasp nest as they explored the former habitat. The family would store the remnants of the nest in their garage, unsure as to what to do with it.
What’s Next For ‘What’s Inside’?
As the episode became a hit among fans, the YouTube channel for What’s Inside would grow in meteoric fashion. The video itself has already been viewed nearly 40 million times! If you think that view count is high just check out their investigation of a rattlesnake rattle!
Becoming YouTube Superstars
Since their first videos went viral, Dan and his sons have continued to post videos to their YouTube channel. As the channel has gained in size, the family’s experiments have also gotten more unique and interesting. One video featured a Tesla battery while another video featured NBA superstar Kevin Durant!
Who Knows Where Curiosity Can Lead
Finally, the What’s Inside team would be applauded by Bill freaking Gates for their work cutting open a water filter. The founder of Microsoft would thank them for putting an emphasis on the need for clean water all throughout the world.
What do you think? Are you ready to start dissecting wasp nests and molding anthills with liquid aluminum?
40 Unforgivable Movie Bloopers
With that goes with making a movie, especially one for the big cinema screen, it’s not surprising when mistakes occur or edits are need. That’s what the editing room is for to go through the draft film and tighten up all the problems or loose spots in the film as well as to get it within the acceptable viewing time allowed. However, once in a while even the best of movies, including Oscar-winning films, have bloopers in them that just can’t be forgiven. They are such clear violations of quality film-making, people wonder how the blooper got through to the public viewing, and yet it does anyways. Here are 25 examples of film bloopers that never should have been allowed or the detail missed, but in the fictional world of movies they occur regardless.
Stuck At Home? 40 Household Hacks You Can Try Right Now
Everybody hears about “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” but beyond recycling some aluminum cans, most people do not really get into it. What if you could actually redecorate your home by implementing the phrase though? You can. You can repurpose what you already own.
This method lets you make home improvements and spiff up your living quarters without investing a dime. You simply repurpose items you already have at home.
Occasionally, the repurposing calls for varnish or paint. Use leftover paint from house painting or spray paint from school projects.
You can also repurpose common household items to improve and simplify cleaning your home. You can vastly improve your way of life with these 40 household hacks.
40 Sideline Reporters More Interesting Than The Game
Raised and home in Colorado Springs, Rizzo went to school in her home state and graduated with a masters degree in journalism (broadcasting) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a well-recognized face on CBS where she anchored and then did a subsequent stint for the Root Sports Rocky Mountain channel. She is also a recipient of 3 Emmy Awards (regional).
Art and Nature Combined With Ant Nests
Art comes in amazing, weird forms. For many of us on the consumer side aluminum is most familiar in the form of soda and beer cans. It’s a soft, durable metal that can be shaped in lots of different forms. Most importantly, aluminum has a low melting point and cools at a medium rate, making it produce some very interesting forms of metal cooling when accidentally left to its own devices and gravity. The metal as a liquid can flow into lots of different shapes and forms, making it a very easy medium to work with in molds. No surprise, aluminum is one of the most common metals used in casting products, including food containers and transport, engine cases and aircraft parts. However, few ever expected to ever see aluminum and ant nests put together to create an amazing new style of artwork.
Paige Spiranac – Anti-Bullying Champion and Darn Good Golfer Too
When it comes down to likes and popularity measured by social media, the king of the mountain in the golf world is in fact a queen, Paige Spiranac. Instantly recognized both by her style on and off the course as well as natural golf talent, Spiranac is literally at the top of her game. However, Spiranac has had her share of challenges in the sport as well as in life, and that path to her stardom was not easy. The story starts in the early 1990s.