A tale of fire ants (losswire cordially invited)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    The other day I saw a funny rock, thought it might be a geode. I picked it up and
    underneath was a fire ant colony.

    I saw hundreds of white eggs. As soon as the rock was removed, I saw what I
    would have expected from a group of humans. 95% of them ran in any direction,
    away from the scene of the end of the world. running in circles, in lines, in
    figure -8's.

    If they had human hands and human heads, they would have been clutching
    their hair and screaming "oh God, why!? HELP!."

    The other 5%, responded like the other 5% of humans would respond in a similar
    situation. They immediately sprang into action, gathering the eggs and bringing
    them below to safety.

    They worked in a feverish pace, heroes. The other ants around, whose figure
    -8's hadn't led them too far away from the scene, witnessed the heroic acts
    and regained composure.

    They decided pulled out of their panic-induced stupor and began to help.
    So now they were 75% running around like chickens with their heads cut
    off, and 25% gathering eggs.

    They got the hundreds of eggs subterranean in under 45 seconds, I was
    timing.

    Once all the eggs were out of harm's way, they retreated as well and left the
    other 75% of imbeciles to wear them selves out.

    Last time I saw this type of response was the Boston Marathon bombing.

    Just goes to show, a small percentage of any population is called to action
    in an emergency situation and everybody else is called to panic and stupor.

    Are you a hero or an idiot?
     
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  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Been there, done that.

    At the instant I realized it was trouble, words came out of my mouth. I ordered the other people at the picnic table to, "Cover your a$$".:eek: Then I stood up, looked for a weapon, and reached for a piece of pipe. And, just that fast, it was over. Two other guys took the bad guy out.

    I have no idea why I said those particular words. I had no reason to expect anyone to obey my order...and they didn't.
    Most of them took their eyes off the threat, looked at me, and blinked like deer in the headlights.:confused: The rest just sat there like they were watching this happen on TV.
    Fortunately it was over before I soiled myself.:D
     
  3. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    In an ant colony, the ants have different tasks. Some are workers, some are soldiers, and some gather food. I don't think they have "figure - 8" ants. But an ant might get confused, if he suddenly gets exposed to light.

    A colony can also have different satellite colonies. In Norway we have about 54 or 56 different types of ants, but world wide there are thousands...

    Guess I'm an idiotic hero... (I nearly always have a plan B, thinking "What if...)
     
  4. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I'm pretty sure those are not the only two options.
     
  5. #12

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    I'm pretty sure I can be both at the same time.:D
     
  6. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    its also an option to not know the answer, or for the answer to be different in two or more different situations.
     
  7. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    The 75% are well armed and protecting the ants gathering eggs in various stages.

    It only takes one sting to kill you if you have a allergy. You can be scared for life

    from a sting if you have a allergy.
     
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  8. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Exactly! The ants described as running in figure 8's were the primary defenders of the nest; they were looking for the threat in order to sting and bite it. As they realized there was nothing to attack, they began to help move the eggs.

    (Fire ants sting and bite. They grab whatever they can get their mandibles into, hang on, and sting with the other end...sometimes moving their rear in a circle and administering multiple stings. Very nasty creatures! I don't know about one bite causing human death, but I know from experience how it is to be bitten and stung dozens of times. No joy!)

    @ Strantor: However, I understand your point about human behavior and understand the comparison. It's true that some people react with effective action in a crisis, while others run in circles. I have done both at different times. It may have to do with previous experience, training, or just random chance on any given day.
     
  9. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    So, lets get this conversation back on track. Was it a geode?
     
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  10. shortbus

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    Those, geodes, are so cool. Back years ago when I looked for arrowheads and fossils, I was lucky enough to find two geodes. One about the size of a softball, the other the size of a baseball.
     
  11. DerStrom8

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    Feb 20, 2011
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    That's a touchy subject, Strantor, mentioning the marathon bombing--and the analogy that 75% of the people there were stupid and simply panicked. That day I saw more people helping others than I ever have before. I would honestly guess that about 90% of people scrambled to help the others, rather than running away. And if I was there, I have no doubt that I would have done my best to help in any way that I could.

    Please be careful with your comparisons.

    Matt
     
  12. strantor

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    Who knows, I tossed the damned thing when I saw it was covered in fire ants.
     
  13. strantor

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    I wasn't there, but my mom, stepdad, and cousin were. My statements reflect the first hand witness accounts that I heard upon their arrival back home. I should have worded my last statement more carefully. The word "idiot" was not appropriate, but I maintain that "stupor" is. Stupor does not imply permanent idiocy. I have experienced stupor myself, several times. This doesn't make me an idiot. I don't know how I would react to a seemingly apocalyptic situation; I might react with panic and stupor. The numbers suggest I would, however I like to think I wouldn't.

    It wasn't my intention to cast judgement on anyone who has been involved in such an event, namely the Boston event. I was just pointing out a facet of human (and ant) nature. I apologize for wording it in a way that could be interpreted otherwise.
     
  14. DerStrom8

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    Sorry Strantor, I know it wasn't. I almost lost some close friends in that bombing, and I guess I'm just very sensitive on the subject.
     
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