This incredible moment was captured in Brazil by Twitter user Francisco Boni, who posted the video of a million ants working together to construct a bridge to invade a wasps nest.
Boni, an electrical engineer, wrote on Twitter: "Attack of legionary ants (also known as army ants or marabunta) to a wasp honeycomb. Impressive the level of swarm intelligence and collective computation to form that bridge.
"When this type of attack happens, the wasps usually escape and the ants do not leave until they've completely looted the honeycomb, carrying pupae, larvae, and eggs, as well as some adults who did not manage to escape.
"They can even build across the water!"
As to the question of why the ants built such a relatively enormous structure instead of just walking upside down across the ceiling, Boni first hypothesised that: "this was merely a failure mode that happened when they decided to follow & build the bridge (premature optimization gone wrong). Or that there was something in the ceiling affecting the trail pheromones.
"But then a biologist pointed out something more fundamental. Many species ants have a hard time walking upside down. For ants it is more effective to follow the trail over a bridge that goes down and then up than in an inverted upside down walk.
"If these ants can't significant loads when they try to walk upside, it is possible that the suspended bridge solution is more effective because of that too. Bridge formation could also more be more effective for looting and carrying loads if it provides separate lanes that allow for more efficient travelling in either direction, eliminating congestion."
‘Legionary ants’ are often characterised by their aggressive techniques when it comes to gathering food.
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