by Inigo del Castillo in Video on Thursday 23 January 2014

Science never fails to amaze. In a New York Times video, researchers studying the physics of ants at the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that a swarm of ants could act like liquid or rubber. To be specific, the video showed that when the fire ants were being ‘poured’ out of a container, they possessed syrup-like properties as a group.

When the researchers pressed a piece of glass against the swarm, the entire group simply absorbed the contact and “bounced” back to original formation after the pressure was removed.

How does the physics of ants benefit us? The information about these unique properties of ants can be used to develop self-assembling robots and self-healing materials. For instance, we could possibly find a way to have self-repairing bridges based on the ants study. Pretty cool, huh?