r/Damnthatsinteresting 2d ago

After spotting a line of super strong Weaver Ants marching across a branch, Vietnamese photographer Thanh Ha Bui decided to test their legendary weightlifting skills and captured this incredible image in his parents back garden. Image

[removed]

31.2k Upvotes

u/Damnthatsinteresting-ModTeam 2d ago

We had to remove your post.

Image with text posts/claims in the title must have a linked and credible source that backs up the information. Use the word "source" in your comment.

If the title is the only thing that makes your post interesting, you must also source it. OP is responsible for this and it must be done at time of posting. We will not reinstate your post, but you may post again with the correct information

Posts must have a linked and CREDIBLE source that backs up the information. Use the word "source" in your comment. If the title is the only thing that makes your post interesting, you must also source it. OP is responsible for this.

489

u/Mobile_Acadia_3541 2d ago I'll Drink to That

Yeah but how are they at coloring in the lines?

9

u/Pizzadiamond 2d ago

They're good at columns and rows

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u/judyvi 2d ago

Ok, but how did he convince the ants to hold onto the pencils.

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u/ROBERT_BOARATHEON 2d ago edited 2d ago

My best guess is he covered them in something like sugar water to convince them its something worth taking home

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u/Wonderful-Traffic197 2d ago

I def misread this as ‘sugar water or cocaine’ 🥴

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u/ROBERT_BOARATHEON 2d ago

Yeah i made a lil typo lol. Id imagine cocaine would probably entice them to bring them home as well 😀

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u/igweyliogsuh 2d ago

Believe it or not, in experiments with mice, sugar water works better and is chosen over cocaine 90%+ of the time 😂

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u/short_insults 2d ago

this is only true if the mouse has other mice to socialize with and it has other sources of stimulation/entertainment otherwise that furry little fuck will be railing tiny lines like it’s going out of style

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u/Evasor1152 2d ago

yeah, like people, they generally only turn to drugs if their environment is some kind of hell. If they have what they need, drugs are just...meh... for most of them.

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u/mayafied 2d ago edited 2d ago

The Rat Park addiction study/experiment was flawed and continues to spread bad ideas about addiction.

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u/steelhead777 2d ago

That’s because sugar is the most addictive substance on earth.

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u/windyorbits 2d ago

No, that’s Oreos.

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u/TakingAMindwalk 2d ago

Which is made with...sugar.

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u/Would_daver 2d ago

Sugar.... in... water...

Egger your skin's hangin' offyourbones

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u/CrotchRocks 2d ago

MORE....WATER....sugar water... MORE

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u/ForumPointsRdumb 2d ago

...and crack.

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u/StillestOfInsanities 2d ago

Uh, isnt sugar also necessary for the body to function? I thought carbs were broken down into sugars and used to fuel muscles and brain together with oxygen, but shit, what do i know?

2

u/steelhead777 2d ago

Both can be true.

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u/StillestOfInsanities 2d ago

Now thats very true.

So, in the spirit of this, are we in agreement thst the most addictive substances on earth besides sugar are water and air?

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u/steelhead777 2d ago

Sure, but the difference is that water and air are not added to everyday products to enhance their addictiveness.

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u/[deleted] 2d ago edited 2d ago

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u/JR_Manx 2d ago

spends three hours watching videos of ants acting like a very drunk Don Knotts

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u/KORZILLA-is-me 2d ago

Queen! We have brought you something interesting!

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u/HotgunColdheart 2d ago

they may take to the streets

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u/AntelopeFalse8869 2d ago

I doubt they got paid properly for this

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u/[deleted] 2d ago

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u/panda-sec 2d ago

It's in their contract.

They signed it.

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u/[deleted] 2d ago

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u/Amehvafan 2d ago

I doubt they got paid properly for this

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u/Neshgaddal Interested 2d ago

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u/GirthyMongoloid 2d ago

Make it happen! I’d sub.

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u/SummerNightWave 2d ago

This comment deserves a medal.

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u/AntelopeFalse8869 2d ago

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u/myleftnippleishard 2d ago

?

2

u/Moose_Hole 2d ago

!

2

u/Would_daver 2d ago

Wait what and why, Moose?!?!

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u/Moose_Hole 2d ago

Why not and what not?

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u/Would_daver 2d ago

Always with the excellent questions, this moosehole....

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u/Fragrant_Delay_1972 2d ago

I don't think they need payment. they can just take whatever they want

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u/Nolzi 2d ago

cant have shit in the garden

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u/HaileSelassieII 2d ago

You only really need to convince one single ant, then the others will assume they should be helping

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u/frangipanivine 2d ago

TIL ants be basic af...if I were their therapist I'd encourage them to think for themselves

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u/Thatparkjobin7A 2d ago

Now now, let’s not judge them until we see what they draw

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u/deezx1010 2d ago

The Animorophs had a book where they turned themselves into ants for some mission. They all almost went insane from their minds becoming a part of a hive mind.

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u/rich519 2d ago

Those books with the cool covers that I never read?

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u/Azrel12 2d ago

I think it happened when they turned into termites too. Afterwards they decided no more ants or termites.

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u/deezx1010 2d ago

Shit you might be right! I need to go to my parents and dig them out!

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u/Burninator05 2d ago

Those books were so unrealistic. Everyone knows that ants don't really have a hive mind (where what one knows, all know). They're all just singularly focused on the same thing.

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u/SuperScabbilicious 2d ago

They kinda do? The chemical markers communicate a lot of info but telepathic who tf really knows? Maybe they operate on some as yet undiscovered organic/biomagnetic frequency.

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u/Down_To_My_Last_Fuck 2d ago

And bring about the end of all Ant kind..

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u/roguetrick 2d ago

Only free spirits are the male drones. Queens just laying eggs, sterile females doing the work and dying. Male drones flying off to find some strange and dying after doing what they love.

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u/mewhenreal 2d ago

They will not assume anything, ants have cognition and a sophisticated scent-based method of communication. Also, this is fake as fuck.

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u/BonerJams1703 2d ago

The internet is so quick to label anything impressive as fake or staged.

Are you just assuming that or you have a source?

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u/[deleted] 2d ago edited 2d ago

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u/JonnySoegen 2d ago

Another comment posted this source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346018/Theyre-itching-skills-Weightlifting-ants-exhibit-superhuman-strength-lifting-PENCILS.html

You think all photos are faked? Serious question as I can't really tell.

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u/HeatherandHollyhock 2d ago

You are right!

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u/SuperSMT 2d ago

The statement still applies. Convince one ant, and his "sophisticated scents" will communicate to the others that they should be helping.

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u/mewhenreal 2d ago

If I say COME HELP ME and you come help-- there was no assumption made by anyone.

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u/apmesmqc 2d ago

Money can make ants do anything!

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u/Party_Concept_9033 2d ago

They are highly paid.haha!

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u/dieinafirenazi 2d ago

He told them they'd get a lot of upvotes if they could draw some big tiddy elves and posted them on Reddit.

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u/SuperScabbilicious 2d ago

Lol jfc the sheer impertinent crassness of your post made me almost shart myself laughing. You crude beast, you

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u/GarysCrispLettuce 2d ago

He actually had them hold onto cheese straws and Photoshopped the pencils in afterwards.

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u/Fenixstorm1 2d ago

Didn't teach them right...

it needs to be held in a stable position between the thumb, index and middle fingers

3

u/dharmasth 2d ago

Can you hold these for me?

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u/UnfortunateJones 2d ago

I’m pretty sure like 5 years ago these kind of pictures were popular. Most turned out to be animal abuse. Or dead animals glued into position.

Video or this is 100% fake

1

u/Ritius 2d ago

Bro, they’re weaver ants. Don’t spare them your sympathy. If they’re like the ones I saw in Sri Lanka, they’ll grab anything that gets close and try and bite it to death. I used to make them do the wave by passing my hand nearby back and forth.

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u/AssociationLocal1587 2d ago

I witnessed a war between two weaver ant colonies on a railing at a noodle restaurant in Thailand. It was brutal - a very definite front line with bodies everywhere; small groups would charge across the line and get torn limb from limb by the other side. Their jaws don't have venom, but when they bite you, they'll spray acid from their butts onto the wound. It hurts. On top of all that, their larvae are a delicacy. I'm a fan.

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u/Xevailo 2d ago

"Halt mal kurz"

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u/skaduush 2d ago

The Cordyceps

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u/markfukerberg 2d ago

He made an offer they can't refuse.

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u/technecare 2d ago

c’ant

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u/hexmode 2d ago

Evidently, he has figured out how to do this with a variety of small objects: source.

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u/_that_random_dude_ 2d ago Silver

I wouldn’t say small, those pencils look quite above average, one might even say big

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u/33427 2d ago

Great pencil personality too.

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u/Ancientcows7 2d ago

Cylinder

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u/MeMeWhenWhenTheWhen 2d ago

Can confirm those pencils are fucking massive 👍

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u/theobvioushero 2d ago

This article makes me pretty skeptical. His pictures are of weaver ants, which can carry up to 0.5g of weight. Yet, he shows single ants carrying entire chili pepper, which weigh about 45g. The math just doesn't add up.

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u/HumpyFroggy 2d ago

The one lone ant carrying that skyscraper of a pepper looks sketchy af. But..what's up with the daily mail site? If you scroll too fast they keep sending you to another random article, such a scum of a site.

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u/AbeRego 2d ago

Mostly peppers, apparently

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u/Vile-X 2d ago

I can single handedly carry a least 10 more.

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u/MediocreX 2d ago

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u/6chan 2d ago

That subreddit makes me cringe more than /r/cringe

I could crush my skull gnashing my teeth so hard with the cringe from /r/humblebrag

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u/Flat_Bodybuilder_175 2d ago

The mere fact that they agreed to hold the pencils

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u/beluuuuuuga 2d ago

Ants are easy to bribe with sugar water

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u/_bal- 2d ago

Aren't we all

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u/Budget_Pop9600 2d ago

This will soon be in every school library across America with an “inspiring quote”

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u/Mynoodles_mostmoist 2d ago

5 on the table if it’s something about teamwork.

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u/Budget_Pop9600 2d ago

“Alone we can do little, but with teamwork we can achieve greatness”

But I like how “teamwork” is actually just a hive-mind in this instance

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u/rin-Q 2d ago

“Alone we can do little, but with teamwork we can achieve greatness”

Ah, yes. The “teamwork” where I did all the work while the “teammates” did sweet fuckall and/or copy-pasted from Wikipedia before sending me their “work” asking me to remove the citation tags.

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u/Imadethosehitmanguns 2d ago

And then removed from every school because it supports the gay ant agenda.

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u/Budget_Pop9600 2d ago

Dont worry Florida schools dont have libraries anymore because they burned all the books

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u/Stanky_Fangers 2d ago

Replace the gay pencils with Assault rifles, and you'd make a ton of money selling these in the south.

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u/Budget_Pop9600 2d ago

Make sure you print it on 1/2” thick steel sheets

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u/[deleted] 2d ago

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u/frangipanivine 2d ago

Istg I thought the pencils were the point of this...maybe they'd eat them? Then I was like wait that's termites. Then I wondered if they were drawn to the colors? But it appears it's just food to them (sugar water) Pretty incredible mos def tho.

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u/Firm-Ad-2109 2d ago

Mans said hold my pencils

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u/Larry-fine-wine 2d ago

It sounded a little pervy, but the ants gave him the benefit of the doubt.

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u/paulmp 2d ago

I read that in Tom Segura's voice for some reason "HOL MAH PENCILS"

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u/AcerbicWhimsy 2d ago

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing something nice in a sphere with a whole lotta rubbish.

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u/Professional_Flicker 2d ago

Apparently if a man had the proportionate strength of a weaver ant, we could lift 9 tons.

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u/harrypottermcgee 2d ago

Yea, but if an ant was the size of a man it would probably suffocate due to slow gas diffusion or some stupid thing like that. Being proportionally strong is like being pretty fly for a white guy.

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u/humakavulaaaa 2d ago

Flip it upside down, repost, profit!

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u/CLIT_MASTA_4000 2d ago

i remember reading that a lot of these are totally fake and actually fucked up how they make them. they glue the insects to the items.

why is there no video of this? because the pics are staged.

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u/Helenium_autumnale 2d ago

Is this another photographer glueing animals to props to make cute poses, like that Indonesian (iirc) guy?

Otherwise I find it HIGHLY unlikely that this photo could be naturally generated.

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u/BriggsWellman 2d ago

Oh come on...roygbiv

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u/runningwaffles19 2d ago

Thank you! You're a photographer/artistically inclined, and you don't put this in rainbow order? I'd also accept VIBGYOR

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u/3_T_SCROAT 2d ago

THAT WOULD TURN THE FRIGGIN ANTS GAY

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u/SWBxisxKING 2d ago

He should've brought them a coloring book too

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u/Filled_banana 2d ago

Gay ants

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u/rpgguy_1o1 2d ago

Waiting for Alex Jones' rant about chemicals turning the ants gay

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u/Jerb322 2d ago

"Now the ants are woke!" Dumb ass right wingers!

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u/kesapwanan 2d ago

Is this colorblind test?

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u/S0rb0 2d ago

If it was, why would they put up all grey pencils silly?

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u/m0useoo 2d ago

Am I the only one annoyed they aren’t arranged per ROY G BIV?

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u/Boobsnbutt 2d ago

I don’t believe it. The purple one is being held by one ant’s head and another’s arm.

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u/DatRandomHooman 2d ago

Idk why but this low-key seems fake, I saw a army of ants carrying a potato chip on the wall in my grand parents house and they were struggling

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u/Medium-Impression190 2d ago

Have you seen weaver ant? They pulled leaves and branches to weave into their nest. Their bite is strong enough that South East Asian parents used to tie their misbehaving kids to tree infested with these ants.

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u/ginyuforce 2d ago

Their bite is pain as fuck tho, and they are everywhere.

They will bite anything if u shove it to them

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u/mewhenreal 2d ago

This is high key very fake. A pencil weighs ~16 grams, a weaver ant weighs ~5mg. They can carry 50x their weight max, and that's generous.

16g / 5mg = 3,200

It would take 64 ants each lifting 50x their bodyweight to carry a pencil, and even then they couldn't just dangle it from the long end like that.

There are only 2 ants on that purple pencil, and they're barely touching it.

This is mathematically fake as fuck.

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u/becausefrog 2d ago edited 2d ago

YSK those are not full-sized pencils. They are 'golf' pencils with colored lead, which is essentially wax as opposed to graphite. They weigh about 2 grams.

Weaver ants can lift 100x their body weight.

Do the math, but do your research first. Yes, it's still sus, but more correctly so. (I suspect the two ants are in the process of dropping that one pencil on the end. The photographer was using a high enough shutter speed to capture it before it dropped.)

The average full-sized #2 pencil weighs 6-7 grams. It appears that you took 16g from the first hit on Google which was a math quizlet question using a hypothetical number set that does not reflect reality because it's meant to illustrate a math concept rather than a fact about pencils. It's an easy mistake to make, which is why you should always check several sources, and make sure to click on them and analyze the value of the source before trusting it.

Google is a great tool, but it will do you wrong if you don't double check and verify.

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u/Vik0BG 2d ago

Schooled.

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u/Aggressive_Chain_920 2d ago

Pfft, I could hold all that with one hand.

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u/point_breeze69 2d ago

Biggest brains per body weight on the planet too.

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u/_Pill-Cosby_ 2d ago

Damn! That IS interesting!

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u/duckduckbananas 2d ago

Don't let Fox News see this, the next news cycle will be about the ants going 'woke'

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u/hopelessnecromantic7 2d ago

How do the ants hold onto it? Are the compressing their arms together or do they have tiny microscopic hooks like Tobey Maguire?

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u/seikats239 2d ago

But why don't they fall? Are their tiny feet holding onto the branch with immense force?

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u/Jerb322 2d ago

Just wait. Some right wing ass "now the ants are woke!"

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u/Spanktronics 2d ago

pffft that’s not so strong, even I can lift a little pencil

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u/adamgoodapp 2d ago

What's the human equivalent?

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u/clonexx 2d ago

Average ant weighs .00001 KG. Average human in the US is around 77KG. So a human is 7.7 million times the weight of the average ant. Average pencil weighs .006 KG. Two ants are holding each pencil, so in effect they are each holding 300 times their body weight. That’s the equivalent of a 77KG person lifting 23,100 KG or about 50,900 pounds.

Yes, I’m bored.

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u/eyeMotherSPF 2d ago

My toddler son would love this picture

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u/GreatDayneToBeAlive Expert 2d ago

"Mom! Thanh is in the backyard trying to feed the ants colored pencils again."

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u/T1m3Wizard 2d ago

Did he just pull out some coloring pencils and be like "hold this"?

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u/BessYaBa7ar 2d ago

Anyone anyone knows that ants can’t move a rubber tree plant! But he had high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes! 🎵

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u/batdog20001 2d ago

Oh God, first the frogs and now the ants?! They're turning everything gay! /s

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u/mightyFoo 2d ago edited 2d ago

Did he dip the pencil butts in honey?

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u/PanspermiaTheory 2d ago

There are about 100 metaphors here

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u/JTXUS 2d ago

The they/them ant army

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u/jterwin 2d ago

Alternative title: sadistic photographer baits ants with tasty looking objects

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u/Inevitable-Syrup8232 2d ago

ROY G BIV!!!!!! Missed opportunity!

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u/redditcruzer 2d ago

Perhaps even antman doesn't have those convincing powers.

Good photoshop?

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u/snowyday 2d ago

But he does!!! You’re forgetting about this scene

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u/Affectionate_Bus7056 2d ago

If it is 'good photoshop' why aren't they holding up a Russian T-72?!???!

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u/ph00p Interested 2d ago

Bad photoshop.

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u/m_t_w 2d ago

I could easily lift those pencils

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u/mikejpatten 2d ago

Don't let those pink Floyd fans see this, might start burning ants in their bottomless pit of insecurity.

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u/6chan 2d ago

Dont show this to republicans lest they announce a genocide of woke ants :O

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u/brknsoul 2d ago

X Doubt

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u/PoopFartCumToe 2d ago

This is cool. I also realized, as an American, if I went to a Vietnamese restaurant and all the menus Items were just peoples names I wouldn’t even notice. Could I open an American restaurant over there and just have menus items like Tom Arnold, Suzanne Portsmouth, or the Eric Cummings and they’d just be like “yea that sounds yummy”?

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u/kanemano 2d ago

I'll have a Tom Collins and she'll have a Arnold Palmer, and to eat we'll share a Rueben

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u/rpgguy_1o1 2d ago

I looked into it once and Tom Collins isn't a real person, but it has an interesting back story.

Tom comes from the type of gin that was originally used, Old Tom Gin, which is actually in reference to tom-cats rather than a man named Tom.

It's a play on a John Collins cocktail, which was a real person, using specifically Old Tom Gin, rather than any other London dry. Nowadays, Tom Collins is the ubiquitous cocktail, regardless of the type of gin used, because of The Great Tom Collins Hoax Of 1874 in the USA.

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u/tenkohime 2d ago

I've been to restaurants where the menu is people's names as a gimmick, so it could work.

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u/Chas_80 2d ago

Kaaaaaaang

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u/omninode 2d ago

Big deal. I could probably lift 10 colored pencils.

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u/nnomae 2d ago

Alex Jones is going to lose his mind when he sees that chemicals are now turning the ants gay.

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u/RiotSkunk2023 2d ago

We don't deserve ants

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u/demetri47 2d ago

Gay ants

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u/ZUckazz9Z 2d ago

Seems a little gay

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u/Decent_Birthday358 2d ago

Cue Alex Jones ranting and raving about Vietnamese communists turning the ants gay.

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u/Upbeat-Locksmith-677 2d ago

Fuck my ass that’s incredible

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u/arno911 Interested 2d ago

Fuck my ass

Is it thick?

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u/Upbeat-Locksmith-677 2d ago

Yeah baby

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u/Kahnza 2d ago

Clap dem CHEEKS!

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u/Jerb322 2d ago

Slap me silly and call me Sally

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u/knopsi 2d ago

Why add ‘in his parents back garden’? Is this a comment on the Vietnamese housing market?

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u/Low-Requirement195 2d ago

No one else is confused as to why this photographer just happened to have a pocket full of baby sized color pencils?

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u/OktayOe 2d ago

Maybe read the title again and you will know why.

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u/shukaji 2d ago

those fuckers on the left casually holding the dark blue pencil wit one arm and a pair of mandibles

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u/SamfromRI 2d ago

The weight lifting is impressive but I’m astonished by the grip strength!

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u/guest758648533748649 2d ago

And now you stole it to post on Reddit

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u/halica84 2d ago

OSHA would like a word with these ants.

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u/Iancreed 2d ago

What exactly makes them so strong biologically?

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u/Carson_H_2002 2d ago

The smaller you are, the more efficient your muscles are is the correct answer.

An elephants individual muscles are far larger and stronger than an ants, but a portion of this strength goes to lifting the mass of the elephant.

A human example would be a dead lifter, they arnt just lifting a weight but the weight of their arms and chest and head.

Edit: this is the answer to the question whether the photo is fake or not.

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u/Vile-X 2d ago

I'm not understanding the question. Biologically they are born strong. Most larger species have no survival need to carry things much heavier than they are, so they didn't evolve with that skill.

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u/Kahnza 2d ago

Photoshop

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u/Puzzled_Subject_9021 2d ago

I bet the pic is just flipped.

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u/OktayOe 2d ago

Yeah dude they lifted the pencils perfectly vertical. Construction worker ants.

/s

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u/Twadder_Pig 2d ago

Is this like the "give 1000 monkeys typewriters and eventually they'll create a masterpiece?"

Except this time it's "give the ants artistic tools and they'll reproduce the Mona Lisa?".

Should be an interesting study!

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u/Lafa_Touka 2d ago

Why did he chose taking a picture instead of filming?

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