While walking with my girlfriend the other day, I became aware of a danger so insidious that it made me almost drop my ice cream cone, wet myself and run down the street screaming and crying in sheer terror.
You see, someone had carelessly tossed a can of Red Bull on the grass, and I guess there was some of the delicious energy giving drink still inside the can, and the ants were swarming all over it, getting their little buzz on. Which when you think about it, is an absolutely horrifying idea.
You see ants are social insects, related to wasps and bees. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. Ants form colonies. Highly organised colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. The colonies are sometimes described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.
Ants are predators. They eat meat. The are smart. The keep and milk aphids. Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth and Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems (like how to enslave the planets pesky Humans). Add Red Bull from thoughtless litter bugs and you get this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Mt2E1M6dU (ants on Red Bull... click the link)
Now as terrifying as that was, watching these super ants all cracked out on Red Bull there is one other thing that is even scarier... when they speed up like that, living their lives in the fast lane, we run the risk of accelerating evolution... which begs to ask how many generations of these super ants will it take until this
Please... as some drunk guy dressed as a giant owl once said "Give a hoot, don't pollute." Or your grandchildren will end up working in ant salt mines.