How To Make Anthill Art With Molten Aluminum

By Ben Wolford on May 7, 2014 12:03 PM EDT

Pouring molten aluminum into an anthill turns invasive species into beautiful art. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)

Pouring molten aluminum into an anthill turns invasive species into beautiful art. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)

Now you can exterminate invasive species and exploit their behavior for art. The guy behind AnthillArt.com is doing it, and one aluminum anthill cast is for sale on eBay for $375.

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The method is fairly simple (as you can see in the video below). You just melt some aluminum in a bucket, identify an anthill, and pour the liquid metal into the spout. In the description of the video on YouTube, the guy more or less says he doesn't mind roasting hundreds of red imported fire ants alive. He says they "are harmful to the environment and their nests are exterminated by the millions in the United States using poisons, gasoline and fire, boiling water, and very rarely molten aluminum."

It's interesting to see the difference between fire ant nests, which are elaborate and dense with tunnels, and carpenter ant nests, which are more simplistic and linear. Once the molten aluminum has seeped through the nest, you dig it out with a shovel and hose away the excess dirt.

According to researchers at Texas A&M, red imported fire ants "are pests of urban, agricultural and wildlife areas and can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals." The ants were brought in around 1930 by accident and have since spread across nine states, outcompeting native species and stinging people unlucky enough to step on their nest. Texas A&M created a whole task force called the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project to eradicate the vermin, which costs the state an estimated $1.2 billion every year.

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