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The Amazing Ants: How to Form a Bridge

Updated on April 15, 2015
I wonder what is at the other side?
I wonder what is at the other side?

Have you ever watched ants working together?

I’m sure you have seen ants carrying pieces of food and communicating with other ants along the way, right? But have you seen how they work together to solve some problems? Yes, they solve problems, and I witnessed this first hand!

Ants don’t have complicated brains. Actually, they have simple nervous systems. But the way they solved their problem of how to move to the other side of a fence, was simply amazing to me.

I was out in my garden one morning and saw a procession of red ants moving to and from a nearby rubber tree, along our gate and fence, and up to another tree. I was fascinated by the activity because there were hundreds or even thousands of them moving about as if obeying a command.

Their movement was very orderly. Some would stop every once in a while to exchange some message with other ants they met along the way. Then after the brief encounter, they either continued towards their destination or changed direction.

I followed their procession and stumbled upon something I have never seen before.Guess what I saw?

If We Hold On Together

Two ants were trying to cross a portion of the gate but they could not reach the other side. I watched them waving their legs helplessly as they tried to reach out. I think other ants sensed their "cries for help" because soon more ants appeared on the scene. Ants by the way send out signals through chemicals called pheromones.

As if a director or commander gave out a command, the ants started behaving like a team of builders. They started holding on to each other forming a chain until one ant finally was able to touch the other side and make a connection. They formed a bridge!

Other ants soon used this ant bridge to cross to the other side! I immediately got my camera and started shooting away. Wow! What an amazing sight it was! Here are some photos I took that day.

Which way? How do we get to the other side?
Which way? How do we get to the other side?
You called? Hold on....
You called? Hold on....

If you look at the ant in the middle, it is fully stretched out and hanging on to another ant’s leg through its jaw while another is holding on to it at the other end.

I cannot imagine myself doing that at all – forming a human bridge with somebody so that other people can walk on me to the other side! I can do that figuratively though; serve as a bridge that is. But the ants did it, and I am humbled by that experience.

Ant bridge
Ant bridge

Build Bridges, Not Walls

After that ant experience, I have always been on the lookout for a repeat performance of that incident, but I have not been lucky yet. I have taken more ant photos doing other activities though. I will share these in another hub.

If we hold on together
If we hold on together

A Lesson From the Ants

Together, we can accomplish great things. No problem is insurmountable if we hold on together.

For the moment, let us build bridges, not walls and be like the amazing ants.


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    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Vicky,

      What a pleasant surprise to see you here!

      Well, since I started my photography, I focused most of the time on things that people don't usually pay attention too. Observing ants and other creatures is one of those that I do. Of course I also focus on people, places and other things so I can write about them in my travel hubs. However, the little and unknown things are the ones that fascinate me most. You will be surprised at what you will discover about God's small wonders.

      Thanks for the visit and wonderful comment!

      God bless!

    • profile image

      Vicky Macapia 6 years ago

      Wonderful, Mam. I was amazed with such an observation you made and a very meaningful one! I think I must cultivate that virtue you handed down. Thank you.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Louisxfourie,

      Thank you very much! You have made me very happy with your comment.

      God bless!

    • louisxfourie profile image

      Louis Fourie 6 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

      Stunning close-up's love it.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Loves To Read,

      It's so nice to see you!

      Yes, ants are really amazing. They sure can teach us a lesson or two about life and relationship.

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment.

      See you around.

      God bless!

    • Loves To Read profile image

      Loves To Read 7 years ago

      Loved this hub Jill, I have always admired the work of ants. They are strong and tireless as they carry more than their own weight, running back and forth all day. I have also witnessed them carrying an injured ant back to the nest. What a fabulous world this would be if we took lessons from these wonderful little creatures.

      Blessings

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Glenn - I'm happy to see you here!

      It's highly possible that this is how the ants reached the refrigerator from the stove. They are that "enterprising". That's why I call them amazing.

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • Glenn S. profile image

      Glenn S. 7 years ago from Delaware

      You suggested I read this Hub. I'm glad I did. Perhaps this explains how the ants reached the refrigerator from the stove. lol

      Thanks

    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello jimcain,

      Thank you very much! I'm happy that you enjoyed this hub. You are right, we can really learn so much from just observing things around us.

      Hope to see you again!

    • jimcain207 profile image

      jimcain207 7 years ago from HUMPHREY, ARKANSAS

      Really enjoyed this lesson on the ant and the photos. Oh what lessons to be learned all around us if we were as sensitive as we need to be. Great hub.Thumbs up!!

    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Putz Ballard,

      It's amazing how ants can be the subject of a sermon. They really give us much food for thought, don't they?

      Thank you very much for visiting and for sharing this wonderful story.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Putz Ballard,

      It's amazing how ants can be the subject of a sermon. They really give us much food for thought, don't they?

      Thank you very much for visiting and for sharing this wonderful story.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      Nice hub. A Preacher once talked of ants in his sermon. He noted a convoy of the little creatures and followed till he found a piece of candy on the floor missed by the vacuum. He said they were busily scavaging food to cary back to their nest. He put a little salt down next to the candy, they totally ignored the salt. It is harmful and they never carry anything back to the nest that is harmful to the larvae or young ants. A great lesson for humans, we should be casreful what we bring to our "nest."

    • jill of alltrades profile image
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      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Kedei,

      I am happy that you learned something from this hub. Thank you very much for the visit and for leaving a beautiful comment.

      Hi frogyfish,

      Your comment warms my heart! Thank you very much! Truly we can learn so much from ants especially about sharing and cooperation.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      Very amazing prize photos! Your 'bridge' was just the absolute perfection of 'sharing' and cooperation! Wow!

    • profile image

      Kedei 8 years ago

      Waoh, i luv d way u explain how ant communicate. I had always 1da why ant stop by each other while workin. But u just gave me d direct answer.Thanks

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the visit and inspiring comment jacobkuttyta!

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Realliy interesting, Bible says "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!"

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for visiting and leaving an inspiring comment.

      You are right, in ants, the whole is really more important than the individual.

      Hello Peggy,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. They make me happy!

      They inspire me to do even better!

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Hi Coffeesnob,

      It's great to see you again! Thank you for always inspiring me.

      I'm also looking forward to more collaborations with you. There is no hurry of course. I've also been busy. Anyway, I answered your email about the idea you tossed. I'm sure we will come up with something soon.

      All the best!

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 8 years ago

      I love seeing how wonderful God's creation is and your pics show it well. I am anxious for us to do another hub together and have an idea - right now I am soooo busy, but soon, friend. ok?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You should and COULD be a professional photographer! Your photos are amazing!

      Such a wonderful hub about this insect and how it could relate to humans working together for the common good. Just lovely!

    • Susana S profile image

      Susana S 8 years ago

      Great hub and amazing pictures! Ants are incredible simply because the whole is more important than the individual.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi dayzeebee,

      Thank you very much for your heartwarming comment.

      Blessings to you too!

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Love the way you put in all the life lessons the ants can teach us. Thumbs up! Blessings:)

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi tony,

      It's nice to hear from you again!

      Yes, ants are really amazing!

      Thank you very much for the visit and for your heartwarming comment.

      Hello sarovai,

      Thank you too!

      Yes, ants are really interesting. We can learn so much from them.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 8 years ago

      Really interesting to know about ants activities. Let us learn from ants, as you said not building walls, by making bridge. thank u.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Jill this was most Interesting ! Ants are just a marvel of nature ! It Is amazing to me that they can carry so much more than their natural weight . Fascinating pictures too !

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi jadecircles,

      Thank you very much for dropping by.

      Yes, I'm the one. I'm not a professional photographer though. I'm just a photo enthusiast or a hobbyist.

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

    • jadecircles profile image

      jadecircles 8 years ago from USA

      nice hub and photos.. you must be baby angtuaco as I see in the pictures.. looks like a professional photographer.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hello angcorics,

      It's nice of you to drop by again. I always welcome your visit. Your comments are always insightful and inspiring.

      Thank you very much!

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi coffeesnob,

      You know what, I had to check what is Proverbs 6: 6-7 because I was not familiar with it. Now I understand why you said "oh my gosh". I would have said exactly the same thing if I knew about it. This is really awesome!

      Thank you very much my dear friend! I have long wanted to show the wonders of God's creation through my pictures. I did not realize that I have already started it especially with these ant photos.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hello manong,

      Thank you very much! You make me happy with your comment!

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi dohn,

      Yes, isn't it amazing that we can learn so much from ants?

      Thank you very much for visiting and leaving a wonderful comment!

    • profile image

      angcorics 8 years ago

      I too am fascinated by ants.

      I once observed them, while on a long retreat at the Ignatian retreat house in Novaliches. Indeed, they are wonderful and fascinating creatures. While there, I placed roadblocks on a number of them, and as you put it, they helped each other go around the roadblocks.

      From there, I meditated on these creatures, as to how much better this world of ours would be if we learned lessons from ants as far as helping each other out, especially the less fortunate amongst us.

      Truly, your pictures truly illustrate such trait.

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 8 years ago

      Baby,

      OH MY GOSH! This gives a whole new voice to Proverbs 6:6-7. You are amazing! and have such an eye for beauty.

    • profile image

      manong 8 years ago

      Wooowww... Nice hub! And the pictures are beautiful! we definitely could learn a lot of ants and this hub reflects that! Thanks!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow! This is really fascinating! On family vacations, it's tough for us to even agree on where to eat, let alone cooperate on making a bridge! There is much we can learn from these amazingly hard-working animals. Kudos to you for discovering this. Thanks!

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hello jmfisfab,

      That was a nice ant encounter! Now I have a fellow ant observer here in hubpages.

      Thank you very much for visiting and leaving a comment.

    • jmfisfab profile image

      jmfisfab 8 years ago from USA

      w0w i love ants the other day there was one on my shoe and instead of sqishingit i just sat for like 15 minuets watching it. the ant almost seemed sad or lost. then i remebered the anthill i saw earlier and walked the ant over there. when he got there the other ants helped him inside the hill. ants are such beautiful creatures.

    • jill of alltrades profile image
      Author

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Invictus,

      It's nice of you to drop by. You are the first one to visit and leave a comment. Thank you very much! I really appreciate it.

      You are right, ants are inspiring. They are also fascinating to watch. We can learn many things just by watching them.

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 8 years ago

      Such an amazing and beautiful hub. Ants are so inspiring and we can learn so much from these simple creatures. Wonderful how they work together... Your photography just brilliantly captures such a divine natural beauty! Thanks :)