30 years ago I noticed something spectacular! I have always been fascinated by termites and ants, and all my childhood I did study these little creatures. It was the warfare that I was most interested in.
In my childhood we had a street beside our house, with forest on both sides. On the left side there was a colony of what we in Norwegian call Skogsmaur (In english: Forest Ants) . Medium big ants, with well-known fighting spirits. On the right side we had a colony of Stokkmaur (In english: No idea). They are a little bit bigger than Forest ants, but not so much. One to one battle they are nearly equal in size. In the middle we had a huge colony of small black ants, but they are neutral in this story I am about to write about.
For several years they picked on each other and had some small battles. Not a war, but fighting for food and stuff like that. But the battles where about to increase in numbers, and was about to become more frequently. I often did see small groups of “Stokkmaur” patrol their side of the street, with a number of 5 or 6 soldiers. The street had an invisible border, right in the centre. The ants were on each side.
So, to my essence of this blog post.
One day I was walking up the street (I was 6-7 years), and I did see 1 Stokkmaur and 1 Forest ants, running like crazy towards each other. The rest of the street was empty of ants. Just the 2 of them. I was surprised, and remember it as it was yesterday. The street is big and wide, but they was fronting each other the whole running path. They clashed together and the battle was on. The battle lasted for 10-20 minutes. When the battle was over, the winner retreated to it`s side of the street. I did not think so much more about it, before I was going on my daily ant discovery journey the next morning. Sunny day, but something was not right. The street was only occupied by Forest ants. I did go over to check the Stokkmaur colony, and it was deserted. Empty. Not an ant in sight.
So, what did happen here?
My theory is that both colonies picked out there 2 strongest soldiers and biggest. Because they was huge! Largest I have seen, and they was running as Forrest Gump. Not seen anything like it ever. Not in real life, not on television and documentaries. The winner takes it all, and the looser needed to pack and move away.
How they did come up with this, and communicated, I have no idea. It is a mystery for me even today. They decided to do it this way to prevent a big war, and the termination of a whole army and society. You can see it in movies today, that armies do it. But surely humans was not the first. Ants was!
You can say that they had the same “ant path” to find food. But the chance of 2 single ants running as crazy towards each other, with no other ants in sight, and clearly clashed on purpose right in the middle of the street, is very small just to be something that happens. Just that second of the day, middle of the street, battle to death, biggest soldiers, running as crazy, next morning one of the colonies are gone, just that path. This does not just happen. It happened for a reason.
My summary: Ants is the inventor of this strategy to avoid destructions of society’s.
Thanks for reading :-)