Sculptures Created by Pouring Molten Aluminum into Fire Ant Hills
In what may seem like a cruel experiment dreamed up by a not-yet-empathic child, somebody has perfected the process of pouring molten aluminum into the complex-chambered tunnels of fire and carpenter ants. It’s a combination of pest control and creation of intricate sculpture. The creator says the fire ants "are harmful to the environment and their nests are exterminated by the millions in the United States using poisons, gasoline and fire, boiling water, and very rarely molten aluminum."
Researchers at Texas A&M agree with him, saying red imported fire ants "are pests of urban, agricultural and wildlife areas and can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals." The ants were accidentally introduced to Texas in 1930 and have since spread across nine states, outcompeting native species and stinging people. Texas A&M’s relevant task force is named the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project, which attempts to eradicate fire ants, which costs the state an estimated $1.2 billion every year.