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?
Shaq Goes On A Shopping Trip, Surprises Stranger By Paying For Engagement Ring!
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous sports figures in history. Known for his dominance inside of the paint for the Los Angeles Lakers and his undeniable charisma, Shaq would go on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career within the NBA while simultaneously developing his brand into one of the most encompassing in all of the major sports. Now happily retired and ready to sell his smile on television during the big games, Shaq seemingly likes to spend his free time giving fits to those in need and making people smile along the way.
One such experience happened inside of a Zales jewelry shop between Shaq and an unsuspecting (but very grateful!) stranger.
A Gift For a Stranger
Do you remember the day that you got engaged? Do you remember all of the thought you put into the big moment, the care that went into selecting your engagement ring, and the nerves that went into the experience? For this stranger in Zales, the story he would share in the future would blow away even the most imaginative of engagement ring purchases.
Shaq had been shopping at a local Zales earlier this year while looking for new earrings. During his search, Shaq would bump into a kind man who had been shopping for his engagement ring. The two men would share a few words and the sweet moment would end up captured on camera, culminating in Shaq offering to pay for the man’s engagement ring!
Appearing on an airing of NBA on TNT, Shaq would talk about the viral video that had caused so many kind words of support. Shaq described the stranger in the store as “shy” when he overheard the man ask the counter, “How much do I owe to pay off my ring?”
Upon hearing the request, Shaq would step in and ask the shopper how much he had left on the purchase. Shaq would say, “I’m not going to say the amount – but it’s not much for me.”
Man of the People
Shaq and the stranger would end up in a polite argument as the shopper continued to rebuff the offer saying, “I can’t do that sir” before describing the layaway plan he had put in place. Still, the Big Diesel was relentless with his kindness. Shaq told the shopper, “I’ll take care of it. Tell your girlfriend, I got it.”
O’Neal went on to describe how happy the man had been for the gift, admitting that he hadn’t intended for the moment to go viral. In fact, Shaq had hoped the video wouldn’t make it onto the internet. Shaq said on TNT, “I don’t do it for that — I try to do a good deed whenever I leave the house.”
While this moment of kindness may be unforgettable for the stranger at Zales, it is far from the only time that Shaq has stepped up to help an individual in need. Shaq has repeatedly made large and small donations to individuals and charities alike. Additionally, Shaq made headlines a year prior when he pulled over beside a car wreck to help folks who had crashed in Florida. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s office in Gainesville said of the event, “He didn’t stand around for any accolades, he got in his vehicle and left.”
Dog Trapped For Four Days on Detroit River Adopted by Heroic Rescuer
Dogs are man’s best friend, so it stands to reason that we should look out for them wh never we can! A dog was found recently and rescued from the Detroit River after being stuck on the frozen, ice-covered surface for at least four days. Four days of exposure in the freezing cold could have left any pup sick, disabled, or potentially deceased. Fortunately for everyone involved in this story, the Miracle dog once named Alfonso would survive and find his forever home in the process!
Meet Miracle the Dog
Originally known to the world as Alfonso, Miracle would come into the public spotlight after his rescue from the Detroit River. Alfonso had been just over a year old when he ended up getting chased onto the waterway, then covered in ice, by what appeared to be a coyote. The poor puppy would spend the next four days on the frozen ice fighting against both the biting cold and the wild elements just to survive. Throughout the process, nearby citizens worked their hardest to rescue the little critter.
Thankfully, Jude Meade of J&J Marine would show up to the Detroit River with a plan, an airboat, and a team to help him save the animal. Jude owns a marine construction company based out of Windsor, Ontario, and his airboat would be used to approach the island where the dog was stranded, quickly capturing the puppy in the process. According to Dr. Lucretia Greear, a veterinarian at the nearby Woodhaven Animal Hospital, the pup had been hiding onto the island alone, thankfully unharmed by other wildlife.
Finding a Forever Home
Fortunately for Miracle the Dog, a trip on Jude’s airboat would lead to an invitation to a new forever home. Jude would take Miracle to the nearby Woodhaven Animal Hospital for treatment whereupon the puppy was rejuvenated and restored back to full health. The dog had been suffering from frostbite across the pads of his paws as well as his underbelly, with dehydration and pancreatitis also manifesting. Fortunately, these issues were put in the past.
The River Rouge Animal Shelter considered adopting the puppy before deciding that Jude should have the opportunity, should he want to take it. Sure enough, the story would culminate with Jude coming back to adopt the puppy. The shelter wrote on social media, “Miracle could not ask for a better more ideal family to love him!”
When Miracle had been discovered, they found that he was not wearing a tag or a collar, nor did he have a microchip showing ownership to another family. The River Rouge Animal Shelter would release several updates on the story through their social media page detailing Miracle’s adjustment period. The post read, “Today the story came full circle, as the Miracle Dog was placed into the hands of the hero who had saved his life.”
Couple’s Home Gets Quarantined After Finding Unusual Object On A Beach
Imagine going for a stroll on a typical beautiful evening then coming upon the strangest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. A huge rock, but was it a rock?
Not only that, you end up being stuck outside your house because the authority figures you called in to deduce what it is came in droves and quarantined your home.
Yes, this is hard to fathom but one couple lived it after deciding to do more than look at the strange object but to seek help.
Here’s what happened next:
Man Gives Girlfriend Timeless Gift, Two Years Later She Finds the Secret Inside!
Terry held the piece of polished wood in his hands for a moment, thumb gracing the secret seam. The gift had been carefully selected and patiently chosen. After all, what Terry was looking at was far more than a simple piece of polished wood. Inside of the gleaming wooden prism was a second gift, a secret one, for the love of Terry’s life, Anna.
The gift itself was not meant to be found right away and so Terry let Anna hold onto it, knowing one day he’d help reveal the gift inside to her. What was inside? What was Anna’s reaction? Let’s dig in!
Cat Named A Hero After Saving Infant
Dogs often get top-billing as man’s best friend, but cats have proven themselves to be capable of winning the title as well. That was the case with one very tuned-in tuxedo cat that picked up right away there was something wrong with a babysitter. As if smelling the issue on the person, the cat was not only able to sense the problem, but the feline was also able to warn its owners to the issue effectively enough that a bigger tragedy was averted.
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