Ant Farming and the Road to Existentialism

One day, I ordered an ant farm from the Internet. It was one of those space-age ones, where instead of sand it was filled with blue gel that acted as the ants’ food source. In the ad it looked very cool lit up, so I bought it.

Here are my notes:


  • Package arrived. Realized it came with no ants.
  • Went to my backyard and tried getting ants into the container — harder than expected. Got eight so far.
  • Thought:
  • How do you attract people to work for you?
  • Food
  • Money
  • Lodging
  • I ended up buying worker ants over the Internet because it was easier.
  • Thought:
  • Is this why people wanted slaves instead of employees, because they’re easier to obtain?
  • Couldn’t wait for Internet ants. Wanted them now, so I put a slice of salmon on a piece of toilet paper outside. I waited about an hour to check on it.  Went outside and there were tons of ants, so I put them in the container. Got about nineteen.
  • Observations:
  • Some were trying to get out.
  • Some were eating the leftover salmon in the container.
  • Some started talking to each other, forming groups.
  • Ants were escaping through two tiny air holes in the container, so I put Scotch tape over them. Killed the ants that escaped.
  • Thought:
  • Better to stay and live in a box? Or take the chance of dying for your freedom?



  • Woke up and found most of the ants escaped except two. Probably through the air holes — tape wasn’t on tight enough.
  • Thought:
  • Given the slightest chance, slaves will find a way to escape.
  • Escape is number one priority, not food. The whole container is a food source for them.
  • The first couple of ants that escaped did not die in vain — helped all the other ants know there is a way out.



  • My Internet ants arrived. They were labelled as worker ants and were bigger than the ones I captured outside.
  • Observations:
  • They dig better and work non-stop taking turns.
  • There’s this one ant that’s looking for a way out. It’s as if she knows the larger picture here. I named her the Seeker.


  • The tunnels are starting to form. So far, two holes have been made — one right next to the other. I don’t understand the logic of this, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing.
  • Observations:
  • At night most of them are still, but when I plug in the light for the container they start working again.
  • There is a little brown smudge on the surface.


DAY 10

  • Two tunnels are now fully realized. The longer one goes down, then across the bottom to the other side and back up. The shorter one simply cuts diagonally into the longer one. Also, the chunks of gel they rip off and carry back to the surface have made quite a big pile . . . proportionately speaking.
  • Observations:
  • The brown smudges are now in various places. I don’t smell it, but looking at it makes me think I do.
  • The Seeker is still trying to find a way out.


DAY 14

  • The tunnels they are now making seem pointless. They’re all connected and get you from point A to point B, but these new tunnels are headed nowhere, almost in circles. It’s as if they don’t know what else to do, so they decided, Hey, why don’t we make some more tunnels?
  • Observations:
  • Some ants have expired.
  • These worker ants are dumber but stronger than the outside ants I caught in my backyard.
  • The Seeker is still active and seems never to exhaust, even at night. This makes me feel bad.


DAY 16

  • Getting bored. My fascination with them has ended. I threw the whole thing in the garbage.
  • Thought:
  • In the end the worker and the Seeker are both fucked with a God like me.


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