Wood ant colony found living in former Soviet bunker


September 9, 2016

Photo: iStock.coim/Kaphoto

Photo: iStock.coim/Kaphoto

Thousands of wood ants from a large colony that lives atop an old, freezing Soviet bunker in Poland unwillingly descend into the bunker each year, where a “second” colony lives.

The ants fall through an old ventilation pipe into the bunker where there is very little food and freezing temperatures, according to Popular Mechanics, and scientists are trying to figure out how they survive. They have yet to determine what they are eating, considering there is no other source of food.

In The Journal of Hymenoptera, Polish Academy of Sciences zoologist Wojciech Czechowski and his team published a new series of observations about the colony.

Bats and mites also live in the bunker, which was used to store nuclear weapons, and feed off of the nearly 2 million dead wood ants.

“All of the ants living in the colony are non-reproductive females,” Popular Mechanics says, “so the colony is only renewed by the thousands of individuals who drop through the pipe into ant hell. A few feet up, the normal ant colony continues on, totally unaware of the horror below.”

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