Harvester Ant Farm in gel Time Lapse 52 days

  • Published: 15 February 2013
  • On Christmas day my niece sent me the curious gift of an gel Ant Farm. I was surprised to learn Harvester Ants are common for ant farms as I was mostly familiar of them as having painful bites for their size (12 ants biting/stinging can kill a rat, and that they have a rating of 3 on the 0-4 Schmidt Pain Index which puts them above even fire ants, honey bee stings, yellow jackets, and other insects I thought were pretty painful)

    Because of the length of time there are bound to be errors with this kind of time lapse process inside a home. One of the cats had a spat with the dogs that knocked the tripod around slightly once. A few times you can see flashes of cat through the video. This is unedited footage to preserve its scientific integrity and to sustain my lazyness.

    Today on day 52 I'm declaring this project officially done. The cats knocked the ant farm off the shelf as they were found sleeping right next to where it was the following morning. Many ants have died as part of their natural 3 month life cycle, and with no queen to keep the hive coming it does come down to the end. Hopefully all that blue gel is tasty and that they had decent lives indoors in stable conditions with pentiful food.

    To make this I had a Linux camera driving a dslr camera with gphoto2, imagemagick, ffmpeg and other utilities glued together with some perl. A web cam in the mix acted as a light meter and preventing the dslr from shooting too many photos at night (although you can see a few black shots).
  • Animals Animals

Comments • 409

  • hollppa shhoole
    hollppa shhoole  1 months back

    We have this in our schools biology rooom

    • Itz Mad Maddie
      Itz Mad Maddie  1 months back

      They literally dug down but ended up right back at the beginning 😂

      • Jay Son!
        Jay Son!  2 months back

        If ants were the size of rabbits they'd rule the world.

        • Scott Griffith
          Scott Griffith  3 months back

          Bitches love ant farms

          • Le Volpe
            Le Volpe  4 months back


            • Leon siema
              Leon siema  4 months back


              • Micro Gaming
                Micro Gaming  4 months back

                My ants are almost done it’s been 2 days omg

                • Avery Gaming
                  Avery Gaming  4 months back

                  was there a queen

                  • yedam ha
                    yedam ha  5 months back

                    can i use this video for my artwork?

                    • Kanna Kamui the destroyer

                      I have nothing to watch
                      *Youtube* here are some ants building a home in gel

                      • random person
                        random person  6 months back

                        At the start it looked like the monster energy logo

                        • Fairest Oftheball
                          Fairest Oftheball  7 months back

                          So no one is gonna mention the smiley face on the left side of the ant farm ....

                          • the defender of pie
                            the defender of pie  8 months back

                            Why do they just pile all the stuff up top in no certain way? Thye don’t seem to do this when thye make anthills

                            • MRAHMAN
                              MRAHMAN  8 months back

                              My favourite part was when the ants built a tunnel

                              • Achilles Buena
                                Achilles Buena  9 months back

                                2:19 dude there was a face by your ants! XD its at the left side of the screen

                                • technoendo
                                  technoendo   9 months back

                                  At 2:17 - 2:18 its my cat sleeping behind the ant farm. He liked basking under the light. I miss him.

                              • Random Person
                                Random Person  9 months back

                                This is what it would look like if you had the power to see through the ground. You’d see some caves or tunnels

                                • _ Veliah _
                                  _ Veliah _  10 months back

                                  Ahh Brings back memories when I had an ant farm once in a plastic peanutbutter jar and put cotton instead of dirt
                                  (I don't know why)

                                  I fed them everytime I eat something
                                  a few weeks in they grew some sort of green mold on their bodies
                                  I didn't know what to do

                                  I just left the jar open outside overnight
                                  Hoping that they'll leave
                                  next morning they were gone including the jar...

                                  • Theconmicbud
                                    Theconmicbud  11 months back

                                    So how to get this colony

                                    • Armorist _
                                      Armorist _  12 months back

                                      Next time with King of the Hill intro music

                                      • EDSBeGaming
                                        EDSBeGaming  1 years back

                                        Half the tunnels they make serve no purpose what so ever...

                                        • Pie1
                                          Pie1  1 years back

                                          It’s pretty cool how ants work together

                                          • Ickbarr Bigelsteine
                                            Ickbarr Bigelsteine  1 years back

                                            Truly fascinating!

                                            • Reich Motion Pictures
                                              Reich Motion Pictures  1 years back

                                              Suddenly have a feeling of Minecraft

                                              • Rat-King
                                                Rat-King  1 years back

                                                So do they they eat the gel and get the moisture needed to survive from it or you need to feed them something?

                                                • technoendo
                                                  technoendo   1 years back

                                                  Correct, the gel is their food and water, its made out of seaweed extracts and has a fungicide to suppress mold growth in this humid environment.

                                              • MilfHunter500
                                                MilfHunter500  1 years back

                                                Can i use this for school please i am going research on ants

                                                • Jessica Fowlie
                                                  Jessica Fowlie  1 years back

                                                  Dude these aren’t ants!!! These are a different species of wasp! They act like ants but how on earth did you get a hold of all these!!!

                                                  • technoendo
                                                    technoendo   1 years back

                                                    Details are in the video description. I made no effort to acquire these ants. They were shipped to me in a tube labeled "Red Harvester Ants" by a child as a gift. Yes ants are from the order Hymenoptera which is the same order as bees and wasps.

                                                • the dragonborn
                                                  the dragonborn  1 years back

                                                  Im so getting one of these

                                                  • BuildingDonut
                                                    BuildingDonut  1 years back

                                                    It’s so cool to see like a culture be built from ants and to think of what it is like in that ant society

                                                    • Leo Richards
                                                      Leo Richards  1 years back

                                                      Golden Freddy be scaring the ants at the end

                                                      • Jordan James
                                                        Jordan James  1 years back

                                                        What ant farm is this

                                                        • Mark Hinderliter
                                                          Mark Hinderliter  1 years back


                                                          • Gianna D'Amato
                                                            Gianna D'Amato  1 years back

                                                            late but i had one of these things when i was like 7 and i had the GREAT idea of giving the ants a peice of soggy bread so I did but guess it was way too soggy cause the water flooded and drowned all of them. long story short my christmas present was not worth it.

                                                            • I'm a fucking idiot but I think that

                                                              Very cool

                                                              • adap panquez
                                                                adap panquez  1 years back

                                                                this is gonna sound weird at 2:30 or 2:35 it a start it look like a smiley face

                                                                • Jaidon Sieh
                                                                  Jaidon Sieh  1 years back

                                                                  Top 10 minecraft speed builds

                                                                  • Kyle Rider
                                                                    Kyle Rider  1 years back

                                                                    Who else immediately went to amazon and searched for any farms lol

                                                                    • ledfootfam99
                                                                      ledfootfam99  1 years back

                                                                      so basically a cat's maximum ability to hold themselves back from knocking crap off the table is 52 days. phenomenal experiment, Thank you!

                                                                      • Purple Nerd
                                                                        Purple Nerd  11 months back

                                                                        yeah, the cat in the background lol, I am a cat person myself.

                                                                      • theresa krupicka
                                                                        theresa krupicka  1 years back

                                                                        ledfootfam99 lol I know what you mean

                                                                      • technoendo
                                                                        technoendo   1 years back

                                                                        This person knows how to cat!

                                                                    • Jedidiah Steele
                                                                      Jedidiah Steele  2 years back

                                                                      Liked the video for the 🐈. R.i.p. good kitty.

                                                                      • Miguel Garcia
                                                                        Miguel Garcia  2 years back

                                                                        Why do ants make tunnels?

                                                                        • MrChanmh
                                                                          MrChanmh  2 years back


                                                                          • Smash4forlife Diggz
                                                                            Smash4forlife Diggz  2 years back

                                                                            why is the tank sweating???

                                                                          • 杨惠
                                                                            杨惠  2 years back

                                                                            So much fun to watch them digging.

                                                                            • biscoito da sôsô
                                                                              biscoito da sôsô  2 years back

                                                                              New house

                                                                              • I'm in The logang
                                                                                I'm in The logang  2 years back

                                                                                Relax that thing you see is a cat. Crazy right?

                                                                                • Kasper
                                                                                  Kasper  2 years back

                                                                                  Ha! The left side spells =D

                                                                                  • Skeptical but open
                                                                                    Skeptical but open  2 years back

                                                                                    Who make the call to start digging a new tunnel? Is there some kind of project manager aunt?

                                                                                    • Axe Scalibur
                                                                                      Axe Scalibur  2 years back

                                                                                      Only real men watch at 0.25x play back speed

                                                                                      And finish the video

                                                                                      • Kleines Böhnchen
                                                                                        Kleines Böhnchen  2 years back

                                                                                        This is a 2D World. The ant doesn’t know that? ^^