Video: Army of Ants Unite to Build Massive Bridge and Raid Wasp Nest

A man has shared the moment thousands of ants used their own bodies to create a massive rope-like bridge hanging from the edge of a rooftop to a nearby wasp nest.

So far the video has been viewed more than 700,000 times on his Twitter and retweeted by more than 10,000 accounts.

Although he didn't film the incident himself, Francisco Boni told the Daily Mail he shared it to "make a scientific comment on the collective behavior of ants."

Boni had seen the video on the El Entomólogo Facebook page, which suggested the ants were looting the wasp’s nest.

“When this type of attack happens, the wasps usually escape and the ants do not leave until they've completely looted the honeycomb, carrying pupae, larvae, and eggs, as well as some adults who did not manage to escape,” the video caption stated in Spanish. 

“Impressive the level of swarm intelligence and collective computation to form that bridge,” the El Entomólogo Facebook post said.

The incredible insects are even able to make these bridges across water, Boni tweeted.

8_7_Ant bridge File photo: Ants create a bridge. This is much smaller than the bridge filmed by Francisco Boni. Getty Images

However, some users found the video too unsettling. One user wrote in Portuguese: “I was so agonized, I wanted to burn it and run away.” Some were just “confused” by the mechanics of the bridge. One user wrote: “I can see how they could build a sort of rope going down, but I don't understand how they're able to build upwards at an angle from the bottom.”

Other Twitter users questioned why the ants formed their enormous bridge rather than walking straight across the ceiling. Boni speculated it might be because many ants struggle to walk upside down, pointing readers towards an EarthSky article on the topic.

He eventually started a mini thread to debate the contentious issue.

In other recent formicidae news, scientists described a new species of ant earlier this year that can spew a toxic yellow goo to attack its enemies. The Colobopsis explodens burst the fluid from their bodies in an act of self-sacrifice, researchers reported in the journal ZooKeys.

In February, researchers released footage of African Matabele ants nursing other members of their group after they suffered injuries on the battlefield. This could be the first time researchers had observed this kind of nursing behavior in animals other than humans, the scientists reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

More recently, scientists investigated the invasive ant species that hitch a ride around the world via human trade routes. Not only are the cunning critters traveling from their homes to other countries, but the jet-setters are hopping from country to country, spreading across the globe.

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