What is this, a farm for ants?? Yes, yes it is, and you can forget Farmville because back to nature is where it’s at! These 10 amazing ant farms combine the best features of aquariums, art, furniture and pets in a low-maintenance, eco-friendly, educational format. Also, ants!
AntWorks is based on the actual ant farm concept launched into space in 2006 so NASA scientists could study how ants live, function and reproduce in zero gravity. I’m sure those high-speed cosmic rays didn’t affect them at all, and imagine how well they’d do in your apartment! The farm’s clear acrylic plastic container contains translucent nutrient gel so you don’t have to feed your ants… and they won’t come out late at night looking for food, either.
The creative dudes at Instructables believe that like ants themselves, AntWorks works better as part of a larger collective – design-wise at least. Indeed, the assemblage of six AntWorks modules takes on the appearance of a futuristic, blue-glowing, biological supercomputer. It’s a good thing the ants within those modules aren’t able to connect on a one-to-one basis, thereby forming a vast, interconnected hive mind like the Borg in miniature. Umm, hey Instructables dudes, do you mind moving those modules apart pronto and… “resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!!”
Fascinations AntWorks Rainbow Ants
(image via: As Seen On TV)
The Fascinations AntWorks Rainbow Ants ant farm can be described as the art of biology… or biological art, once the ants get into high gear. Fill your wide but slim acrylic case with layers of 5 different colored sand, add ants, and watch how the industrious little critters dig, tunnel and excavate away! So what have YOU done today, hmm?
As beautiful as the Fascinations AntWorks Rainbow Ants ant farm is, just imagine having two and setting them up side by side… WHOA, that’s a full Rainbow Ants ant farm, all the way, double rainbow ant farm, so intense! What does it mean?? It’s starting to look like a triple rainbow ant fa… and that’s when I woke up. Word: never mix Rainbow Ants ant farms with “questionable” brownies.
Uncle Milton’s Giant Ant Farm
If this is anything like those giant bees from the movie Mysterious Island, fuhgeddaboudit… hold on, it seems the ant farm is giant and the ants are, er, garden-variety sized. My bad, but those state-of-the-art (for 1961) effects from Ray Harryhausen were totally awesome, amiright? Getting back to Uncle Milton’s Giant Ant Farm, the 15” by 10” display area doesn’t really seem all that giant unless you compare it with the cheaper 9” by 6” Uncle Milton Ant Farm. Just sayin’.
Uncle Milton’s (not to be confused with “Uncle Milty” Berle… I think) Giant Ant Farm is constructed so that viewers can “watch ants construct a subterranean network underneath their farm,” with the “farm” being a green silhouetted graphic of an average human family farm. Nice… unless you’ve watched Tremors one too many times. Yep, I know, gotta get out more often.
Clone Trooper Ant Farm
(images via: Official Star Wars Blog)
Darth Vader may not be their father but the ants in the Clone Trooper Ant Farm do share a common mother and it ain’t Queen Amidala. May the formic acid be with you!
(image via: Official Star Wars Blog)
Available in your choice of Geonosis or Felucia (this test of your SW geek cred starts here & now), Clone Trooper Ant Farms are made by Uncle Milton, a powerhouse in the ant farm universe, and are part & parcel of the company’s new (well, 2010) Star Wars Line.
If we can have eXtreme Doritos, why not Xtreme Ants? Why not indeed, as long as you keep your Xtreme Ants off my eXtreme Doritos. Xtreme Ants (another Uncle Milton’s product, btw) is sort of a “Six Flags Over Black Flag” amusement park for ants, or at least it’s laid out that way – no telling if the ants are amused or not.
(image via: Ant Farm Universe)
Xtreme Ants combines molded ant characters that look sorta cool, and maybe they’re there to give the real ants an idea of what they should be doing besides, well, ant-stuff. Does it work? Who knows, but if actual ants start using the skate park with trick towers, vertical ramps, gravity loops, climbing wall, bungee ravine, street luge speedway and BMX biking arena in this glorified flea circus to their full capacity, we’ve really got something to worry about. Good thing the Xtreme Ants enclosure is break resistant and escape proof.
Ants on my CEILING!
Now here’s something that’ll freak out the whole family: monstrously enlarged silhouettes of ants marching silently and stealthily across the ceiling. It’s called, er, “Ants on my CEILING!” for want of a better name but we’re talking some serious truth in advertising here (cough *Sea Monkeys* cough).
Ants on my CEILING! is what you get when you try to design a dual-purpose flashlight and ant farm, though why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. Regardless, what you see is what you get: a cylinder partially filled with green nutrient gel incorporating an LED light in the base, along with room for three AAA batteries to power said LED light. I guess you COULD use it as a flashlight… or shine it on clouds at night in an effort to contact Antman. Nanananananana, Antman!!
SnoAnts Lighted Ant Habitat
No actual snow is required for SnoAnts, an arctic-themed ant farm that can easily weather the worst of Global Warming. Think of a snowglobe filled with ants… (shudder). SnoAnts is brought to us by Antimal House, which sounds like a freakish cross between Antz and Animal House. With that in mind, you might want to borrow someone else’s SnoAnts ant farm on a trial basis, put ’em on probation as it were. Wait a sec, they already are? Well as of this moment, they’re on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!
FRAMEicarium Ant Farms
FRAMEicarium is an ant farm you hang on your wall. It’s ideal for less-well-kept homes occasionally plagued by cockroaches – you can just say they’re part of the display. Created by designers Hugh Hayden & Katie Vitale, the FRAMEicarium is a formicarium (aka “ant farm”) in a frame. Now isn’t that easier than saying “framed formicarium” all the time?
(images via: Trendland)
Hayden & Vitale salvage framed pictures and picture frames from Brooklyn and other NYC-area boroughs, then upcycle them by fitting each with a rectangular acrylic ant farm in place of the former artwork. Occasionally parts of the previous picture are kept, resulting in a curious combination of still life with real life.
The Ant-o-Sphere ant farm stands 65cm (24 inches) tall and consists of eight interconnected pods arranged on four vertical levels. The setup approximates the layout of actual ant nests much more closely than traditional “flat screen” ant farms. Best of all, no special glasses are required to view your Ant-o-Spherians as they go about their inscrutable business.
The Ant-o-Sphere ant farm is to regular, run of the mill 2D ant farms what Star Trek’s Tri-Dimensional Chess Set is to primitive 21st century chess sets. “Most illogical”, you say? Nonsense! One might even speculate that ants raised in the Ant-o-Sphere ant farm are certain to – wait for it – live long and prosper.
The World Flag Ant Farm
First constructed in 1990 by Japanese artist Yukinori Yanagi, the World Flag Ant Farm consists of a series of flat, rectangular, transparent art farms filled with colored sand arranged in the pattern of various national flags. Yanagi then linked the individual ant farms with plastic tubes and faster than you can say “just add ants,” he did just that.
Yanagi’s ants proceeded to do what ants do: build tunnels to transport food, sand and whatnot with nary an insect customs inspector in sight. Over time, the integrity of the “flags” was degraded by the ants’ activity, which could be likened to the human creation of a Global Village through travel and trade. In this way, Yanagi seeks to comment on human notions of borders, nationality, collaboration and freedom. If our tiny insect pals can get along, why on Earth can’t we?