Editor's Picks

10 August 2011

Engineering of Ants - Building Bridges

It’s a strange and peculiar world with endless secrets… it’s the ant’s world…Scientists are always discovering a new thing that shows the magnificence of this small creature, that is really worth revealing a sura to be named ‘’The Ants’ by ALLAH. So, let’s read…

Every time, when doubtful people try to laugh at this Qur’an and give example, Allah devotes someone to discover its miracles and wonders facing the atheists saying. Disbelievers have mooched since Qur’an revelation that the Prophet Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him) is mentioning insects such as ‘’Ant’’ in his book!

Glorified be Allah! Some doubtful repeat the same saying today, that the Qur’an is full of legends and they give example that Muhamed gives souras insects’ names. But Allah the Almighty says: 

"and Allah will never grant (Literally: make) any way for the disbelievers over the believers."[Quran 4:141]

So, he who meditates scientists’ discoveries will notice that they are confused, they are astonished in front of this small creature that is the ant.

Scientists say the ant’s brain weight is a hundredth gram, whereas the whale’s one is hundred thousand more than the ant’s. However, the ant accomplishes more intelligent tasks and works than this big whale! This reality wonders and confuses the scientists, but if they just think and read Allah’s Book, they will find that Allah is the Creator of this ant, He has taught it and guided it to the straightway. Allah said about Himself:

"The Ever-Innovating of the heavens and the earth-however does He have a child, and He has no female companion, and He created everything, and He is Ever-Knowing of everything? That is Allah, your Lord, there is no god except He, the Creator of everything. So worship Him; and He is an Ever-Trusted Trustee over everything. Beholdings (i.e., eyesights) cannot perceive Him, and He perceives be holdings and He is The Ever-Kind, The Ever-Cognizant." [Quran 6: 101-103]

Every day, the scientists declare that the insects’ world, especially the ant one is a very complicated thing, it’s cannot be logical to say that the ant has developed itself alone, because its limited brain can’t treat all these information when doing its tasks. In this picture, we see the ant head and its small brain inside, it contains over 300000 neurons. A man brain contains more than trillion cells, i.e. hundreds of thousands times more than the ant one. Although this small brain, it can treat all necessary information that the ant needs to accomplish its tasks showing that this brain has been programmed.

Scientists observed the ant’s world for longtime, in the beginning, they thought that it’s a limited world that can neither think nor understand nor communicate! However, it has finally been shown that the ants are a nation as we are, they have their laws, their life, their intelligence. It has been shown that the ant building architecture is older than the man one, it has been building houses since millions years. Scientists have recently discovered the bridges building in the ant world.

According to a Reuters site study, the way that the ant adopts to cross holes is to build ant bridges! Two British researchers mentioned that the ants group sacrifice themselves when facing holes to save the others. Some lie inside these irregular holes to make more equal route for the others.

These researchers found that a type of ants living in the Central and South America chose some ants from the group that have adequate body sizes to fit the holes. They said in a report published in ‘’Animal Behavior’’ journal that more ants may unite together to fill bigger hole!

See this living bridge, how some ants sacrificed for the others. Scientists say that the ants building the bridge by their bodies suffer a lot when the other ants pass across, but they endure and resist like a real bridge that the other ant can pass by! 

Scott Powell and Nigel Franks from Bristol university studied Eciton burchellii that walk in the Central and South Americ forests in group of 200000 ants! This group is in constant contact with the ants’ nest by a very long line ants. But this long line of living ants can be hardly disturbed when the others pass on the leaves and branches spread on the forests ground.

In this picture, we see how they take each other to build a solid bridge on which the ants can pass to the other side. The scientists that studied this phenomenon confirm that the ant chose with care the appropriate sizes to sacrifice in building this bridge!

A small number of ants fill the holes build to obtain a coherent road. Scientists say: the ants have their own way to redress the roads. Powell said: when the traffic eventually diminishes, the ant that forms this motionless plug will pop out of the hole and run home. Broadly, our research demonstrates that a simple but highly specialised behavior performed by a minority of ant workers can improve the performance of the majority, resulting in a clear benefit for the society as a whole.

From researches about ants’ neurology done in Boston university, the researcher James Traniello says: this complicated ants’ behavior is programmed, so each one can first know what it has to do. The small ant has limited tasks according to its size, but the youth and strong one are defenders and food processors and accomplish other difficult tasks. Whereas, the old ant is retired and the others take care of it!

Franks and Powell did laboratory experiences to show this behavior. Franks said, we put inserted wooden planks, drilled with a variety of different sized holes, into the army ants' trails to see how their sizes can fit the holes’. Indeed, the ants did well, they chose the appropriate way to build the bridge. This way astonished the scientists so they asked; how did the ant learn this technique to build, whereas people have to work hard and do complicated architectural calculations to do so?

Dr. Scott Powell says when the ants face holes and can’t cross; they chose some ants that have the adequate size to fit the hole. The chosen ant sacrifices itself, endures and builds the living bridge by its body so that the other ants pass on! They experience several times before to build the bridge, they must find the size and the strength that can bear the ants on the back! 

Researchers working on this say the ants sacrifice small number of ants to build this bridge, but they win a lot when they guarantee the road to thousands ants. The ants do this social act voluntarily and with pleasure, each one hastens to try its size whether it is appropriate to this living surface or not!

Glorified be Allah! This is solidarity and compassion within ants’ world, so what about people?! The greatest Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) demonstrated to us the believer case when confirming that the believers are like the building well done in terms of mutual aid and sacrifice. The ants aid each other and sacrifice to live, haven’t we to aid each other and sacrifice for Allah (Supremely Blessed is Allah)?!

This ant bridge building architecture is a very sophisticated technique and with no expense but little sacrifice and mutual aid. The scientists wonder the big energy that the ant provides when building the living surface, they also wonder its endurance and big programmed effort so they confirm the ant is very intelligent and loves too much the other ants. Here, I would stop for awhile to recall the greatest beloved Prophet saying: " None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself’’. Look how does the ant apply the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) word, what about us Believers pretending loving this compassionate Prophet and applying his instructions?

We always remember in such context the divine proof that demonstrated that the ants and other creatures are nations as we are. Allah the almighty says: 

"And in no way is there a beast (moving) in the earth nor a bird flying with its two wings except that they are nations like you. In no way have We neglected anything whatever in the Book; thereafter to their Lord they will be mustered. " [Quran 6:38]

Finally, we wish that any atheist read or see these discoveries to explain to us the ants world secret, who teaches them these wonderful techniques, we answer first: It is Allah the Almighty, He who said on His Prophet Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) tongue in his conversation with Pharaoh: 

"He (Pharaoh) said, “Who then is the Lord of both of you, O Mûsa?” (Moses). He said, “Our Lord is He Who gave everything its creation (and) thereafter guided (it).” [Quran 20:49-50]

By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel
Photo Credit: alexanderwild.com 

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