Ants are immune to traffic jams - even on the busiest routes

Recently, ants have been found to have another "superpower" that sets them apart from other insects. Aristotle also wondered how they manage to follow long paths without interfering with each other. Recent researchers have shown that ants are immune to traffic jams, but scientists have not been able to figure out how this works.

For the experiment, an anthill was taken with individuals of the species Linepithema humile, for which a test range was arranged. Several bridges, 5, 10 and 20 mm wide, were laid between the anthill and the food source, along which the insects made about 170 expeditions for supplies. At some moments, there were from 400 to 25, 600 ants on the bridge, and the traffic density reached hundreds of individuals per minute.

For all the time of the experiments, scientists have not recorded a single case when a "traffic jam" would form on the road. There were incidents when ants accumulated in one area, but no one stopped completely - just the whole stream slowed down, but continued to move. Ants estimate movement conditions surprisingly accurately and automatically adapt to them, without wasting energy and time. In comparison, humans begin to slow down at 40% flux, and ants only at 80%.

Scientists believe that one of the possible reasons for such an ideal organization of movement is that ants have a common goal. They are not afraid of collisions on the road, but this is a waste of time and a malfunction in the operation of the anthill, which the individual has no right to allow. For people, the opposite is true, each individual pursues personal goals, not taking into account the general state of affairs. In the future, our roads will be filled with drones - and an ant model of movement will suit them better than a human one.