The tweet was the perfect opportunity for ant enthusiasts to bring out everything they know about the eusocial insects.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 17, 2022. It has since been updated.
Twitter user OctopusCaveman presented a bizarre mystery to the social media platform after noticing unusual behavior from the ants in his son's ant farm. In a thread that's been liked more than 233,000 times and retweeted nearly 19,000 times, the artist revealed how his 5-year-old son decided to throw a handful of Trix cereal into his pets' habitat as a treat but was surprised by their reaction to his special offering. According to OctopusCaveman, instead of feasting on the sugary cereal, the ants enacted a bizarre ant funeral that left the family perplexed.
"My son put some Trix in his ant farm. Instead of eating them, the ants dug up all of the dead ants on the farm and piled them on top of the Trix. Not sure what that means but I’m not eating Trix anymore," the Twitter user wrote. "When I die, bury me in Trix so the bugs don't eat me. In case anyone was curious, we gave them a Mcdonald's fry tonight and it went right on the death pile." He also shared a photograph of the Trix ant graveyard and it truly is a mind-boggling sight to behold.
Trix and Spinach graveyard pic.twitter.com/UousFzeJdE— octopus/caveman (@OctopusCaveman) December 30, 2021
As you probably know by now, the internet loves a good mystery and OctopusCaveman's tweet was the perfect opportunity for ant enthusiasts to bring out everything they know about the eusocial insects. Twitter user, @reinadelhadas, presented an interesting theory based on an experiment they once came across. "I read about a scientific experiment where some researchers put the pheromone that smells like death on ants to observe their behavior. The smelly ant would be taken by their peers to the corpse heap or they would walk there themselves and just sit, convinced they had died," they wrote.
hours after seeing this tweet, I found this unopened, unboxed bag of trix sitting on the sidewalk in manhattan. what does it mean. pic.twitter.com/gA3r6I79qp— Flat Patrick (@iscythea) December 30, 2021
If I die young,— beforedawn (@beforedawnfan) December 30, 2021
Bury me in Trix.
Lay me down on a bed of spinach.
Sink me in the river of Styx.
Send me away with my fellow insects.
Meanwhile, other Twitter users shared similar surprising things they've noticed about ants. "If you leave butter outside, it will be covered in ants in minutes. If you leave margarine outside, they won’t touch it," tweeted @lowericon while @BeautyProtector wrote: "I've been disturbed since I discovered ants milking their aphid herd out in my garden. A whole farm right under my nose." One user revealed how they pretty much ran an Ant Fight Club as a child. "When I was a kid we used to put different ants together in our 'gladiator pit' to see which ant was the strongest. The little regular ants are actually the most aggressive, two of them ripped the legs off a bull-ant and then carried it home," tweeted @whipthegoon.
Ant archeologists looking at dead ants on top of trix pic.twitter.com/JLrBurAy76— James (@Swiftjel) December 30, 2021
"They did this with every ant/insect we could find. They are absolute weapons the little ones. Also for context, I live in Australia so the other ants/bugs were mad scary. I say all that to say, start the new account dedicated to Ant Farm content, please. You've awoken my god complex," they added. Ultimately, it was @SkyeSharkie who solved the mystery of the Trix ant graveyard, writing: "I found the actual reason... apparently oleic acid is the substance that makes ants aware of death and makes them pick up the dead bodies... turns out Trix are full of canola and sunflower oil which are 61% and 20-80% oleic acid respectively." How about that? Nature is truly mindblowing.
cool fun fact on the death rituals of Ants and oleic acid pic.twitter.com/P2SgsQS8Zu— maria garcia (@tulipsmg) December 30, 2021