The 3 Coolest Things Built by Bugs, shows how nature has always had its own architects, responsible for some of the mightiest and most complex structures ever built. Some of the mightiest of these are created by bugs. Here’s 3 of the best
1. Bee Hives
Honeycombs are incredibly intricate structures that have perfect symmetry. Each cell is a perfect hexagon with all edges less than 0.1mm thick, meeting at an angle of 120 degrees. It seems hexagons emerged for a very good reason, to maximize efficiency in a way no other shape could.
Bees need to create a structure that can be repeated endlessly over a flat area leaving no gaps between shapes. Only 3 shapes in existence do this, squares, equilateral triangles and hexagons. Hexagons out of the three have the smallest total perimeter and so many more can be fitted in any given area.
2. Termite Mounds
Africa and Australia are home to several different species of termite who all live in mounds, some of which have reached 9m high! The remarkable thing besides the sheer size of these mounds is that they all feature one of the best designed ventilation systems in the world, it’s so efficient humans are actually copying it. Termites do this because they require a constant temperature of 30.5 degrees celsius, in order to look properly look after and harvest their fungi farms. Seeing as the outside temperature can vary from between 2 and 40 degrees every day, ventilation is key to survival.
This miraculous mechanism works by using a complex of vents and tunnels to filter air past underground wet muddy-walled tunnels, cooling the warm air forcing warm air from inside the mound up and out through the top. If it gets too hot or cold the termites open new tunnels or close others to regulate the temperature in whichever direction they wish.
3. The 180 Meter Long Spider Web
A very rare but spectacular thing happened at Lake Tawakoni state park in 2007. It had been a particularly wet summer and the whole lake hosted huge numbers of mosquitoes, crickets and caterpillar larvae. All of these things are a spiders favorite meal and since there was simply too much food to go around, instead of competing against one another, several species of spider joined together in the millions and produced this 180m long structure. It was a sheet web and in some places it was so thick it actually blocked out the sun, but those spiders definitely didn’t go hungry.