Are the Argentine Ants Phase I?


I’m not sure if you remember that movie from the 70’s Phase IV.  I didn’t discover it until a few years ago, and I found that it was my answer to Sominex. The soothing introduction explaining the genesis of colonies of super-ants with a melancholy 70’s scifi synth in the background always put me to sleep. It took me several weeks and finally watching it in the afternoon while I did my laundry to actually finish the movie.  I just found out that Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured Phase IV. You can view some of the movie MST3K style on YouTube.

The recent news about the colony of Argentine ants that have supposedly colonized the entire planet (thanks to our help) immediately brought the premise of this movie to mind. Though I’m not thouroughly convinced the Argentine Ants are going to take over the planet or herald an alien invasion. I do wonder what this ‘world colonization’ implies other than we human beings through our messy lifestyle attract ants where ever we go.  I have many questions.  What sort of impact does this invasive species have on other native ants or other native species? What more can we learn from these ants that will tell us about ourselves? Does it mean all those million bottles of Terro sold only made the ant colonies stronger and more resistant? Why does it both freak us out and fascinate us that something so tiny could have such a universal and unified force?


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My place outside of work to explore and make connections with the ideas and things (sometimes work-related) that I'm passionate about.

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