In Some Parts of the World Ant Heads Were Once Used as Stitches

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Remember the gut wrenching scene from Apocalypto, where Jaguar Paw’s wife uses ants’ pincers as sutures on her young son? Turns out it was inspired by a real medical treatment used in part of Asia, Africa and South America.

According to survival expert Cody Lundin, who starred on the Discovery reality show Dual Survival, army ants – soldiers that guard the rest of the colony – are known for their whopper mandibles. “I know that in ancient China, they were used as sutures by a lot of native peoples,” he explained on the show. “Take it on both sides of your wound and it’s going to clamp down on your flesh, and when you pinch off the body, it will hold that wound shut. Once they bite on, they don’t let go. You can physically pull their body away from their head, and they will stay embedded in the flesh.”

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Anty Gin – World’s First Gin Made Using Ants

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True to its name, ‘Anty Gin’ is literally made from red wood ants. British distiller Will Lowe collects thousands of ants from the forests of Kent and prepares the gin at his lab-style distillery in Cambridge. The bizarre concoction is the world’s first gin to be made from insects, so naturally, it doesn’t come cheap. Each 70cl bottle costs £200 ($313), and contains the essence of 62 ants.

The idea for Anty Gin came about when Danish organisation Nordic Food Lab contacted Lowe, who makes custom gins for a living. “We were approached by a company from Copenhagen called Nordic Food Lab who explore the culinary qualities of insects and argue for the eating of them in western cuisine. They asked us to come up with a gin where the typical citrus flavor came not from lemon or lime peel, but from ants.” Lowe said.

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The Secret Life of Ants, Shot by Andrey Pavlov

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We’ve seen insects used as art protagonists before. Mike Libby turns them into steampunk hybrids, and Ubyka creates armed insect cyborgs, but I haven’t seen anything like what Andrey Pavlov does with ants.  This is the touching story of a man who found comfort in studying and immortalizing hardworking ants performing their daily routines.

Andrey Pavlov wasn’t particularly interested in macro photography until seven years ago, when a spinal injury caused him to remain immobilized. That’s when he fell under the charm of these amazing earthlings called ants. He started reading books about them and their behavior, and became fascinated with the way the ant community cares for its weaker members – the children, the old, and the disabled. That’s when he realized they were creatures that commanded respect. This civilization that for the last 150 million years has mastered so many environmentally sustainable ways of surviving and evolving at the same time, really impressed him. So he made it a hobby to observe and take photos of these incredible insects.

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Artist Uses 200,000 Ants to Create Unique Painting

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Painter Chris Trueman, from Claremont, California, has created a unique painting by using 200,000 dead ants instead of paint.

The painting Chris calls “Self Portrait With a Gun” actually features his younger brother, dressed as a cowboy, holding his dad’s rifle. From afar this unusual artwork looks more like an old yellowed photo, but as you approach it, you realize it’s actually something completely different – a painting made of ants.

To the artist, this bizarre ant painting represents how humans learn about things abstractly, only to have their impressions changed as they get closer to them. But actually completing his masterpiece wasn’t the simplest task, mostly because he hated killing the creatures he perceives to be ” right on the line of what I consider intelligent life.” When he first began the project, he decided to catch the ants himself, but the ants in San Francisco, where he was living at the time, were too small. So he decided to order them online, from a guy who was breeding and selling them as food for lizards.

First he ordered just 1,000 ants, because he didn’t know how many he would need for the right density, but then he started ordering 40,000. They came in peanut-butter jars, and seeing them moving around in there, it was hard for Chris to make a decision. He couldn’t release them, because they weren’t native to that area, and they could start biting people. So he decided to kill the ants himself. It wasn’t easy, and he even took a 1-year-break, but decided to complete his ant masterpiece,  because he didn’t want the first batch to have died in vain.

Some of the ants dried up and were torn to pieces, so Chris Trueman used them in the large parts of the painting, where details weren’t important, saving the full-sized ants for the detailed parts. he would handle them with tweezers, placing them on the Plexiglass canvas and coat them in a painting resin called galkyd.

Chris Trueman‘s ant painting is on display, at an art gallery in San Diego, and is priced at $35,000.

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FRAMEicariums – The Art of Ant-Farms

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If you’re looking for a unique type of art, that’s dynamic and alive, you can’t go wrong with  the new FRAMEicariums, by Hugh Hayden and Katie Vitale.

Ant-farms are an interesting concept, but the two artistic duo have taken it one step further, and turned it into an original form of wall art. Using salvaged picture frames, artistic backgrounds and ant farms, they’ve come up with the FRAMEicariums, living paintings that change to the work moods of the ants that inhabit them.

FRAMEicariums come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from luxurious to minimalist, and have a price range of $80 – $900.

via Inhabitat

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