LONDON, Sept 8, 2015:
A curious video showing a group of ants racing in circles around an as it rings has gone viral this week, sparking a host of theories as to what could have caused the bizarre phenomenon.
According to a report in The Independent, in the video clip, the insects are initially seen walking normally in different directions.
When the iphone begins to ring and vibrate, however, the ants mysteriously form a ring around the phone, racing around it in almost perfect circles.
According to ViralVideoLab, who uploaded the video to YouTube last week, the ant’s weird behaviour is caused by an “electromagnetic wave” from the incoming call.
Nigel Andrew from the University of New England, agreed with this theory telling Yahoo7 News that ants often use magnetism to “orientate themselves”.
“[Ants] have magnetic receptors in their antennae.” he explains, “If they’re travelling long distances, they use magnetic cues from the earth to know if they are going north, east, south or west.”
Another academic has sugessted that the odd behaviour could simply be due to the fact that ants are prone to circling things.
Simon Robson, a social insect specialist at James Cook University, told Yahoo7 that the movement is “an unavoidable consequence of the [ant’s] communication systems”.
He explained that the large numbers of ants in the video and the shape of the phone may have influenced the insects’ behaviour, yet “a lot of ants will do it even without the phone.”