What you’re about to see is approximately 8,000 fire ants that were placed in a beaker. The beaker’s walls are lightly dusted with talc powder to prevent the ants from escaping. When disturbed, the ants start linking to one another and as a group, and behave as a bulk material with viscoelastic properties, due to compliance in the linkages. Continue reading for the video.

According to the video creator: “The viscous response is due to the constant breaking and reforming of bonds under applied stresses. This ‘active matter’ phenomena presents the opportunity to model the ant aggregation as a continuum with measurable intensive properties.”


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