An ant colony in Poland has been the focus of scientists for several years now. More accurately, the scientists are studying two colonies, one "normal" colony of wood ants who live in a dirt mound on top of a hidden vintage Soviet bunker, and its inverse, the unfortunate ants who drop through an old ventilation pipe into the dark, desolate bunker where there is little food and temperatures are freezing.
The bunker, which was used to store nuclear weapons, has been abandoned for years, and it's still technically illegal to enter. But eventually, scientists snuck their way in and discovered the surreal "colony" inside. Polish Academy of Sciences zoologist Wojciech Czechowski and his team have published a new series of observations about the colony in .
Thousands of ants drop into this nether colony every year, and scientists are still unsure how they survive or what they eat. This lovely environment is also home to a massive ant graveyard, where the wood ants have dragged 2 million dead ants to rest over the likely many years this disturbing colony has existed.
Though there are a few other animals living in the bunker—including bats and mites that survive off dead ant bodies—there is no other source of food for the ants. All of the ants living in the colony are non-reproductive females, so the colony is only renewed by the thousands of individuals who drop through the pipe into ant hell. A few feet up, the normal ant colony continues on, totally unaware of the horror below.
Until they take one wrong step.