18 December, 2012

Ants Dig Up Gold

I got this from the Science Alert website (http://sciencealert.com.au/news/20121212-23914.html), covering Autralia and New Zeeland.

I knew all these bloody ants we have around here were good for something. Who knew? We might be sitting on a gold mine down here.

All we gotta do, apparently, is scope out the little mounds they make outside their tunnel entrances.

The website says that mounds in western Australian gold fields (see, I knew there was going to be a catch). 'contained high concentrations of gold'. The article said this indicated a bigger deposit of gold underneath. No sh*t Sherlock. Especially since the mound is smack-dab in the middle of a gold field.

You might want to hold off on enticing more ants to move into your neighborhood and then betting the farm that a partnership between them and you is going to pay off with the motherload.

Since the Australian outback is getting pretty well picked over on the surface, miners over there are having to come up with new ways of finding gold and other minerals.

They're looking at ants and termites - well, actually, besides looking at the mounds these critters make, the miners are actually examining the ant and termite poop.

If you ask me, I think these guys have been sipping a little too hard on the Foster's while in direct sunlight.
Ants Are Gonna Win
If this is what Aussie miners are reduced to, my image of hardened guys in the outback living in rabbit holes all around places with names like Coober Pedy is going to suffer mightily. I can't imagine being able to attract a lot of tourists to a place that's reduced to using ants to locate gold (and in the case of Coober Pedy, opals). It might work but I just can't imagine a busload of tourists from Kansas getting off the bus. "Look hon. Honest to goodness ants are mining this stuff. Why don't you get in the middle of them and I'll take your picture".

And with the ants we have down here, especially the crazy ones, why you'd spend  most of your time trying to figure out where they found the gold, the way they scurry willy-nilly all over.

I don't know. This story sounds to me like it was a slow news day on the science front - Nothing new from the Large Hadron Collider... Maybe the ants found gold there and took over.

4 comments:

  1. You know Dave, we looked at an excursion in Melbourne that would have taken us to those ant nounds but $250.00 each was just too rich!

    We opted instead for a tour of some of the taverns in town and then a calm, steady stroll through some kind of garden before we're rounded up and poured back into the ship. I'll talk to some fellow passengers and see how the gold mound excursion went.

    Cheers yourself... and have a very Merry Christmas and a fun New Year's. I am sure that we will get through the 21st... I think, I hope...

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Julian,

    Tour fees - that must be where the gold is. I think your tour was more fun.

    Talk to you after the 21st.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yo Dave, I remember the movie "Them" (am I dating myself?) and it scared the poop out of me at that young age. Jeanette

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Jeanette,

    Well, with good reason too. You should see the variety of ants we have down here. Ranging from teeny-tiny to "wow, that's huge".
    I'm sure you've only seen it on one of the midnight 'creature-feature' shows.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    ReplyDelete

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