There’s a Termite Colony In the Amazon Rain Forest That’s the Size of Great Britain and Almost 4,000 Years Old


In a dry tropical forest of a relatively undisturbed region in northeastern Brazil, lies the worlds largest termite colony, and it’s been there almost 4,000 years. While the Egyptians were busy building their Giza pyramids and the Romans were building their empire, these termites were building their tunnels and mounds. Now, over the course of four millennia, they've managed to expand their underground tunnels to stretch over 143,000 miles — that’s basically the same size as Great Britain. There's an estimated 200 million termite mounds, all varying in size and height, and spreading out between 52 and 72 feet apart. Each of the mounds measures around 8½ feet tall and 30 feet wide. What’s interesting is that all of the mounds are spread out at almost equal distances from each other, as if the termites used measuring tools when they were building. Because of years of baking in Brazil’s hot sun, the mounds have become so solid that it would be nearly impossible to bulldoze them. In fact, locals use the clay-like substance to build durable weather-resistant homes. Meanwhile, as the colony grows, there’s no way to tell how big it could possibly get, making it’s gigantic growth a very interesting thing for scientists to keep an eye on.