We are sure that many people raised their eyebrows when they heard what this man was planning to do. Was it really a good idea to pour molten metal into an ant nest? Many people thought that he just wanted to cruelly destroy the ant colony lying below there. After digging it up, he found something interesting that made it clear that there was more to this than anyone had ever thought.
Molten Aluminum Into An Ant Nest
In 2003, a YouTube user put up a rather strange video. It came with an ambiguous title. You see, the clip was called “Casting a Fire Ant Colony with Molten Aluminum (Cast #043).” At any rate, this did not prevent the video from becoming very popular.
A Bucket Of Liquid
The footage starts with several close-up shots of what looked like an ant nest in the grass. The creator of the video was seen measuring the mount before taking out a bucket full of liquid. This was the moment that he pours all of it through the hole and right into the ant nest!
What was the liquid that he used? Why, it was none other than molten aluminum. When the bucket was tipped over, viewers were able to get an eyeful of the sparkling substance as it streamed into the ant nest. As soon as the underground structure was filled, the man put the bucket down.
A Life Of Its Own
It looked like it was brought to life by the molten aluminum! You should watch the video if you want to see it gargle and screech while the molten metal settled down there. It was steaming as it calmed down.
After It Cooled Down
When the nest was done cooling, the person in the video used a trowel to get rid of the top layer of dirt. After that, he started to dig around the structure and destroyed the walls of the nest completely. As soon as he was done with the construction, he lifted the metal-filled nest onto the ground…
Cleaning It Up
After this, the man used a power hose to get rid of all the dirt on the nest. The jets of water were great at getting rid of all the dirt on the aluminum structure. What it unveiled surprised many viewers!
Anthill Art was the name of the YouTube channel that posted the video. He tends to use molten aluminum to cast a bunch of items such as ant colonies. His artwork is also up for sale at eBay!
These Complex Structures
Ants reside in highly complex structures. The subterranean nests often come with a maze of tunnels that are connected on many levels. It is fascinating to learn just how tirelessly worker ants maintain these chambers! We daresay that their effort is actually quite inspiring.
A Stunning Mold
If you pour molten aluminum into an ant nest, the metal is going to fill the tunnels in this formation. When it is done cooling, the artist is going to have an excellent mold of the ant hill structure. As a matter of fact, the casts are so accurate that they will be perfect for use at research and educational facilities!
Not Just Informative
Mind you, the works are not only informative, but they are gorgeous as well! In the 2003 video, Anthill Art was able to create a huge piece that weighed nearly 18 pounds. It stood at 18 inches tall as well. Look at this beauty! As you can see, it was truly a sight for sore eyes.
More And More Views
As a matter of fact, this piece caught the attention of people. In only a couple of months, the video reached over 7 million views. This figure has since grown to an incredible 94 million views.
Beautiful But Cruel
Even though it was stunning, there were also folks who criticized Anthill Art for his video. Some found what he did to be very cruel. It would have been even worse if the artist added the molten metal into one with living ants.
Not Art But Murder
“Your video and art made me first sick to my stomach and then made me so angry,” a disgruntled Facebook user said on the Anthill Art page. “How can you call yourself an artist? Is murder an art?”
A Childish Need
“You think so, obviously,” this person went on, “Guess you never grew out of your childish need to kill animals, insects and who knows what else, in order to feel powerful. These are innocent creatures with amazing colonies which took them who knows how long to build.”
That comment was not the only criticism that the video received. “This isn’t right. Killing thousands of living creatures in the name of art. I’m not a PETA supporter but this is just inhumane,” a different user added in the comment section of the YouTube video.
Time To Defend Himself
The criticism actually blew up so much that Anthill Art had to defend what he did. According to him, the ant nest was one created by fire ants. We all know that those insects can deliver horrible bites. This is the very reason a lot of authorities want to cull these ants.
A Responsible Artist
The artist also explained that he tries to be responsible when it comes to his art. In 2013, he spoke to Metro about the issue. His statement read, “I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out. Either way, I do it sparingly and the property is still overrun with them.”
Approval From Experts
Paul Hetherington is a spokesman from Buglife, an insect conservation organization. He has given it his approval. “If the nest is empty, we would support this casting as it raises awareness to the fantastic architectural prowess of ants,” he told Metro. “However, if the ants are still present it is an extremely cruel way to kill them, of which we disapprove as they are effectively boiled alive.”
He Has Not Stopped
Even though the work was controversial, Anthill Art has yet to show any signs of giving up on the art form. As a matter of fact, he now has 37,000 followers on his Facebook page. While a lot of people do not approve of his methods, we can’t deny that it truly highlights what the natural world has to offer.
A Different Nest
Anthill Art has decided to use insect nests to make art, but there are other people who decided to crack them open to see what the cores had in store. Lincoln Markham asked his dad to take a peek inside a wasp nest! Dan Markham granted the request. However, what they found inside the hornet nest took both of them by surprise.
A Disgusting Sound
After putting on a pair of gloves and fetching a long kitchen knife, Dan sawed away at the hideout. The insects build their nests from plant material and old wood. They heard the loud crunch of the thin layers as they dissected it. Lincoln found it a little scary and even called it a “disgusting” sound.
Cracking It Open
Once they were done cutting it open, Dan cracked the nest open like a melon sliced in half. After that, he showed both sides to the camera to show what the inside was like. He and Lincoln had a companion by the name of Kai, a pal of the young boy. None of them could believe what they were looking at!
Not The First Time
This was not the first time that the father-son duo performed an experiment like this. As a matter of fact, they started their fact-finding missions in 2014. Back then, Lincoln was only a second grader in Kaysville, Utah. For a class project, he decided to look for answers about something that was bugging him. He shared his findings on a poster board with the other students of Endeavor Elementary School
Sports Balls Too
Lincoln wanted to take a look at the interior of sports balls! This was the reason he and Dan spent one afternoon slicing open a tennis ball, a soccer ball, a golf ball, and a basketball. The father made sure to film the whole process and then posted the results on YouTube. However, he had no idea that their channel was going to get any attention!
Earning More Attention
It did not take long for YouTubers to flock the videos that Dan posted. Thousands of people watched the clip and then subscribed to the channel. Dan and Lincoln started to field requests from their viewers. After obliging the requests of their followers, more subscribers and views followed.
Their Own Show
Dan and Lincoln named their channel, “What’s Inside?” You can watch a new video on the channel each week. To this day, the father and son continue to slice open a number of things. They have dissected a department store mannequin, the rattle of a rattlesnake, a kaleidoscope, and even a drone. The video about the wasp nest was uploaded to the YouTube channel in November 2015.
Looking For A Nest
In order to see what the wasp nest was hiding, they needed to first look for one. This was not an easy task for them. “We went outside, and all of our wasp nests have lots of wasps in them and they were very small,” Dan said in the video. They could not look for a worthy one, which was why they made the decision to buy a nest from a rather unlikely source.
“We went on eBay,” Dan went on in the video, “and you can buy wasp nests from people!… I just bought a wasp nest for like 30 bucks from somebody in Wisconsin.” As he explained this, he had a knife and a huge cardboard box in hand. He was clearly excited to show everyone the strange purchase.
“Hopefully bees don’t come flying out at us,” he joked as he started to slice through the tape that secured the shipping box. When they were done opening the carton, Dan removed the padding around the nest. After seeing what it looked like, he could not help but exclaim, “Oh, that’s gross!”
It Was Big
“Oh my!” Lincoln said. On the other hand, Kai said, “It’s huge!” If you watch the video, you are going to see that the young boys looked shocked when Dan removed it from the box. On the other hand, it visibly dawned on Dan that they were in the formal dining area of the house. He said, “I don’t know how comfortable I am with cutting this open inside of the house.”
The boys told him to keep going with the plan there and then. They also grabbed a few items to show the viewers how huge it was. This was actually a great idea that showed the true dimensions of the nest. It was huge! As a matter of fact, it was even bigger than the soccer ball and basketball that they had.
With this, Dan slipped on a pair of protective gloves and took the knife. He was ready to find out what the nest had in store for them. “If bees come out, you guys save me, okay?” he jokingly told Lincoln and Kai. “No, we’ll be saving our lives not yours,” his son retorted. It was a good thing that it all ended well!
They Were Excited
“I can’t wait to see what’s inside of this thing,” said Kai. Meanwhile, Dan went on to cut the papery layers of the nest with a knife. After finally dividing the hive into two, he asked the boys if they were ready to take a look inside. At long last, he held up the wasp nest to the camera!
They found a lot of small compartments in there. The hexagon-shaped chambers are were wasps store and look after larvae. The adults would bring them chewed-up caterpillars as food until the larvae could pupate. When they go through metamorphosis, the insects were ready to turn into mature adult wasps!
They Were Mesmerized
You should watch the video if you want to see how mesmerized the young boys were! “That’s amazing,” Lincoln said. On the other hand, Kai pointed out, “They still have, like, dead eggs in there.” Dan said that it was “fascinating” and continued to examine the living spaces made to house the babies.
What To Do Now
When they were done with the experiment, the trio talked about what they planned to do with the nest. “We’ve kept a lot of the things that we’ve cut open,” Dan told Kai and Lincoln. He added, “This is one I don’t know that I want to keep.” Ultimately, they agreed that it was a good idea to store it in the garage. This was where the video ended.
A Hit Among Viewers
We are not surprised to hear that the video was a hit among their viewers. The YouTube video has been up for two years now. It has since gathered over 35 million views. For the sake of comparison, we want you to know that their weekly uploads usually get anywhere from a million to four million views. This is still not the most popular one out there because this honor goes to the one about the rattlesnake!
Meeting Bill Gates
Dan and Lincoln now have a pretty big fan base. In fact, there are 4.9 million people subscribed to the YouTube channel. This was the reason they received a lot of attention for their videos. Many people find them to be a fun and interesting way to spread knowledge. In February 2016, Dan and Lincoln Markham even got to meet Bill Gates. The duo received the approval of the Microsoft co-founder who appreciated their efforts to raise awareness about clean water issues across the globe. This was all thanks to the fact that they dissected a water filter!
Meeting Kevin Durant
The pair continued to post new “What’s Inside?” episodes even after the wasp nest video. Their recent experiments included an investigation of a Tesla battery, a bladeless fan, and even the new Nike shoe by NBA star Kevin Durant. We are sure that young Lincoln was thrilled that he got to go one-on-one against one of the biggest basketball players out there. Not only that, but he even scored several points. Great job, Lincoln!