A colony of over one million ants, with no source of food other than the dead bodies of their colony, no light and no means of reproduction apparently thrived in a soviet nuclear bunker for more than 5 years and they have now escaped. Apparently, a few members of a colony fell down a pipe and the colony managed to find any source of food they could find and then began to eat each other. According to Newsweek:
However, after returning to the site two years later, scientists found the colony was not only still there, but that it had grown in numbers. This was despite there being no obvious food source, no heat and no light. A population estimate suggested there were hundreds of thousands, if not one million ants living in the bunker.
Ants are known to set up colonies in unusual places. Nests have previously been found in the chassis of a car and inside a wooden box in complete darkness that could only be accessed by a tiny skip at the base. However, in all other cases, the ants were able to come and go. “The masses of Formica polyctena workers trapped in the bunker had no choice,” the team wrote. “They were merely surviving and continuing their social tasks on the conditions set by the extreme environment.”
After much investigation, scientists concluded that there was a steady supply of ants falling into the bunker from above, providing enough food and new ants to sustain the colony. Let’s hope they don’t mutate and take over the world next!