Ants, as they are - and not to irk our animal-loving readers out there - very high on the list of crap idiot animals that everybody hates. This is a shared feeling, it is safe to say - they are irritating, over-confident little arsewipes and they do nothing for us, they are a plight, a plague, they are nothing but trouble.
And the worst of them all? Those horrible flying ones that seem to talk amongst themselves and agree to all commence their duties for the summer on the exact same day, swarming us all in awfulness.
However, step (or fly, I guess) aside guys. Stand down, because you are no longer the worst type of ant out there.
No, not any more, because a new species of ant has been discovered that actually explodes when provoked.
Its back erupts into a shower of poisonous goo at the slightest hint of disagreement, in a last-ditch attempt at a final wedgie - real cowards, these ants, real quitters.
Scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna, Technical University Vienna, and other institutions took a recent expedition to Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia, and discovered an entirely new species of exploding ant (other examples have been discovered before) with the very Ronseal genus of Colobopsis explodens.
Essentially, the minor worker ants in the colony are prone to self-sacrifice, by way of popping their backs when confronted with a foe, releasing a yellow sticky goo which is noxious to the intruder.
The process is called ‘autothysis’, and has also been noticed in some species of termite - what these exploding nitwits are doing is working to protect the entire colony, with scant regard for preserving their individual lives (idiots). This is one of the many reasons as to why ants are referred to as a super-organism.
Anyway, you want to see a god and gosh damn ant sodding well exploding its butt, don’t you? Well, here you go (look around 7 seconds in for the goo):
(It’s only ants, but I guess this might be quite distressing for some people, so don’t watch if you don’t like watching things die, which is entirely fair enough)
Luckily, despite the extremely alarmist headline, you won’t have to deal with any of these critters over here in the UK, because they’re pretty much restricted to overseas. However, if you fancy recreating the experiment at home, simply feed your dog a nice slab of chocolate, leave it five minutes and you will most certainly be privy to a rather spectacular ‘explosion’.
(Image: Mikhail Vasilyev)