Just a bizzare thought

Beyond the boundaries of established science an avalanche of exotic ideas compete for our attention. Experts tell us that these ideas should not be permitted to take up the time of working scientists, and for the most part they are surely correct. But what about the gems in the rubble pile? By what ground-rules might we bring extraordinary new possibilities to light?

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Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby Guest » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:44 am

I saw something rather interesting today in my American National Government class. All the classrooms have VGA adapters on the floor. Today I saw ants clustered around it shortly after our professor plugged in the VGA cable from the computer, then leave once he unplugged it. I know for a fact there was nothing on the floor to attract them, as i checked. But the ants were spread out in a somewhat circular formation around the adapter and I'm wondering if a) I'm reading too much into it, or b) the magnetic fields were influencing biological organisms. If magnetic fields DO have that sort of influence of biological systems, is there a possibility that modern population centers and population shifts might be the result (at least in part) of shifts in the magnetic fields and currents that envelope the Earth?

Just a random thought rather than pay attention to a lecture on legislative power...

Re: Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby MGmirkin » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:01 pm

Well, once I get an archive of the Forum 1.0 stuff up that I've managed to save, I'll point you to the old electroreception thread from the "Human Connection" forum. It was rather interesting. Certain species have the ability to sense electric or magnetic fields (some species of fish, sharks, the star-nosed mole, I seem to recall certain monotremes like Echidnas / hedgehogs might have a similar weak sense). It's possible that ants may have some faculty whereby they can sense the magnetic field around the adapter, or some such? Don't know. Could just be reading too much into it...?

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Re: Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby bboyer » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:15 pm

I encountered this when I lived in Florida back in the late 80's. Ants loved my pc, when it was on which was most of the time. Wasn't sure if it was the heat or the electronics ... they didn't get in the television, vcr, or other appliances. Just the pc. Maybe it was an IBM-Microsoft deal back in the days; Boca Raton wasn't that far away. ;) Weird because Florida was the only place I've noticed it. No problem in Calif or Texas. The few times it was off they'd clear out. Then there's the occasional story I've heard about varmints chewing through attic wiring insulatiion.
There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else. — Maitri Upanishad
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Re: Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby redeye » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:25 am

I've often wondered about flying insects attraction to lightbulbs. Making a beeline for a lightsource seems like a strange thing for a moth to do. Most sources of light are also sources of heat. I thought there might be some sort of effect coming from the bulb that is confusing them.

Ants are social creatures from the same family as bees and wasps. Do ants communicate electrically?

Ants are kind of like little dipoles, they remind me of the images on the Bosticks Plasmoids Thread.

silhouette of ants

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Re: Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby webolife » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:36 pm

You address a mysterious experience from my past as well. Back in '84, when I was tearing down my old house to rebuild anew on the site,
I was about to take out an old aluminum window on a wall to be demolished, and noticed quite to my surprise that the window was electrified. Not full house current (120amps) by any means, but enough to tell myself not to step in a puddle while removing the window.
I carefully tore open the lower part of the inside wall where the outlets were and disconnected the service, noticing that there were no direct electrical contacts with the window, which is mystery number one. As I worked my way up the wall, I encountered mystery number two, a huge colony of moisture ants completely surrounding the window frame including in the studs. I had no idea there were ants in this wall, and wondered why they were gathered around this weirdly electrified window frame, and why they hadn't done their job on moister, more rotten walls just meters away. I never could figure out where the current was coming from, despite taking the entire wall apart.
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.
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Re: Just a bizzare thought

Unread postby StefanR » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:45 am

Leafcutter ants, Atta colombica, forage over 250 m in structurally complex, Neotropical rainforests that occlude sun or polarized light cues. Night foraging makes the use of celestial cues and landmarks all the more difficult. We investigated the directional cues used by leafcutter ants to orient homeward by experimentally reversing the polarity of the local magnetic field and by experimentally subjecting the ants to a strong magnetic pulse to disrupt a magnetic compass. In both experiments, we transferred homeward-bound ants from a foraging trail to a table in a chamber that occluded landmark and celestial cues. In both experiments, control ants showed path integration and walked directly towards the nest. In the reversed field, one-half of the experimental ants oriented according to the reversed field (geographically 180° opposite to the nest's direction), indicating that they used a magnetic compass to update their positional reference derived from path integration. The other half walked towards the nest, suggesting that they may have used an egocentric reference to measure their rotation when displaced, although other explanations have not been entirely excluded. With application of a very brief, but strong, magnetic pulse, experimental ants oriented randomly. We conclude that the leafcutter ants use the earth's magnetic field as a reference by which to orient when path-integrating towards home.

electric ants link
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