A New Type of Art
When this artist poured molten metal into an ant hill, no one could have guessed the outcome. To someone passing by, it looked like someone trying to destroy the colony; however, what the man dug up later was a stunning work of art.
You won’t believe what was buried in the sand. It’s simply magical.
A Strange Video on YouTube
The process of pouring molten metal into an ant colony first gained exposure from a video that was uploaded in 2003 to YouTube and subsequently went viral. The footage began revealing some close-ups of an enormous ant hill. However, things take a very strange turn quickly.
Pouring in the Molten Aluminum
After sizing up the nest, the unnamed man begins to molten aluminum into the ant colony. As the liquid penetrates the nest, sparks fly and steam begins to seep up through the sand.
What could this person possibly be doing?
A Steaming Mystery
As the molten liquid works its way down into the ant hill, the mound begins to move and come to life. It hisses and gargles, the thick hot liquid metal settling into its final resting place. As the steam continues to rise, the mound heaves one final time before finally going still.
Digging Up Treasure
After the ant colony cooled, the man begins to scoop away the top layer of dirt. He then proceeds to dig around the structure, causing the nest to collapse completely. Once he freed the structure, he was able to pull the metal-filled nest out of its hole.
However, this was just the beginning.
Cleaning Away the Dirt
The next step taken was using a hose to wash away the dirt. Using a powerful jet of water, the man makes sure that no nook or cranny is left untouched…and what’s left is absolutely amazing.
Stunning Art Revealed
Can you believe your eyes? The man who had uploaded the video was known as “Ant hill Art” and his business was casting ant hills in aluminum. The entire process creates these stunning pieces, that show off how amazingly intricate ant colonies are.
A Complex System
According to experts, ants live in very complex structures underground. These nests are made up of a detailed network of tunnels that burrow many levels deep into the ground. Every ant in the colony has a role to play and they spend their time maintaining every single chamber in the nest.
The Miraculous Process
As the molten aluminum works its way through the ant colony, it fills every single tunnel and chamber. Once the metal has cooled, the artist has an exact replica of the ant hill. Due to the accuracy of these casts, some are actually used for educational purposes.
Large and in Charge
Many people may think that ant hills are small, but that could be further from the truth. What you see above ground is just a small piece of the entire structure. The “foyer” if you will. The cast of the ant hill featured in the 2003 video was actually 18 pounds and nearly 18 inches in height. Amazing, right?
The ant hill featured in the video blew everyone who viewed it away. In only a few short months, the video had been viewed over 7 million times. Today, over 94 million people have viewed this unique artist and his spectacular craft.
While many people loved the art that was being put on display, several were very vocal in criticizing Anthill Hill Art’s methods. Some believed it was cruel to pour the molten metal into an active ant nest, which would kill them in such a horrific way.
Angry and Distraught
One very upset viewer had this to say about the video, “Your video and art made me first sick to my stomach and then made me so angry. How can you call yourself an artist? Is murder an art?”
Still Not Finished
Of course, one comment wasn’t enough for this disgruntled viewer, who continued on their tirade. “You think so, obviously. Guess you never grew out of your childish need to kill animals, insects and who knows what else, in order to feel powerful. These are innocent creatures with amazing colonies which took them who knows how long to build.”
An Impassioned Response
Many other viewers seemed to agree with the sentiment that what the artist was doing was cruel and simply inhumane. Despite the fact they were simply ants, they were still living creatures who were being killed in the name of “art.”
Do you agree with the critics? Should he be aware of all the lives he is snuffing out in a swoosh of molten aluminum?
Defending His Art
With the comments and criticism beginning to build up, the artist decided he finally had to speak up on the issue. He claimed that the nests he used for his artwork were of a nasty breed of fire ant, and the bites could be brutal. Due to these painful bites, the authorities were actually trying to wipe out the insects. In his opinion, he was doing his part.
“I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out. Either way, I do it sparingly and the property is still overrun with them,” the artist claimed online.
Insect Conservation Approval
Despite his viewer’s criticisms, the artist did find support from Paul Hetherington, a spokesperson for the insect conservation organization Buglife. Paul told the local media that he approved of his art IF the nests were empty because it raises awareness on how amazing ants can be in terms of building colonies. However, if ants are still present in the nest, he stated it was an extremely cruel way to kill them.
No Signs of Stopping
Despite his vocal critics, Anthill Art is showing no signs of stopping. With over 37,000 followers on Facebook, one can’t deny that his art showcases the incredible beauty of the natural world. Ants certainly are amazing creatures.
It seems the negative comments haven’t stopped others from doing the same, some creating things that look out of this world. This ant hill piece looks like something from the moon, yet still resembles a tree of some kind. The flat leaf-like structures could even pass ass some sort of mushroom, don’t you think? P.S. this nest was abandoned prior to creation.
Take Home Art
This piece we found on Etsy, the handmade and vintage sales platform. These just keep getting more and more interesting! This one looks like coral, capturing the beauty and capabilities of even the smallest creatures.
Different Species, Different Design
These structures seem to be vastly different depending on the species of ant creating it, almost as if the design is a signature. If you keep looking at this one, it looks like a creature with legs ready to run at you… or maybe a transformer of some kind… either way it’s awesome.
Next up, a love note.
A Loving Species
Yeah sure, some ants can sting you, but apparently some of them are quite loving. Look at this nest, a perfectly shaped heart. I wonder what lucky woman got this for Valentine’s Day.
Whichever species made this one must be in Africa, because this looks exactly like an Acacia tree! This one would be a nice home, it has many rooms! Is that a spiral staircase I see? The next might be the most interesting one yet.
As you can see, ant farms come in all shapes and sizes. This one is clustered at the bottom and slims out toward the top, giving it a carrot shape. Next up, a smaller scale nest.
This one is on the smaller scale, and looks like the perfect jewelry hanger. These ants must have been tiny! The next nest is definitely the most spacious.
This nest shape is more like rows of tunnels unlike the clusters we’ve seen so far. This nest was made by carpenter ants, who nest in wood, explaining the shape. They prefer damp wood, usually logs or damaged wood structures. The next nest looks like it’s giving you directions.
This one looks like an arrow! I wonder if that was intentional, perhaps giving directions to those who live within it? I know, far fetched. This nest was created by the notorious fire ants.
This one kind of looks like a Christmas tree, standing at a whopping 17 inches tall! These fire ants went to work! This nest is so big, the casting weighs over 20 pounds!