Scientists show all work and no play make ants dull insects

STANFORD (The News Desk) — Biologists at the Gordon Lab for Collective Behavior Studies at Stanford University released a statement yesterday stating that they are “so bored.”

The statement goes on, “We’re just so bored.”

Professor Deborah M. Gordon, who heads the lab, has been studying ant behaviour and lifestyle for over a decade. “All they do is walk around and carry things all day,” she said from her lab, where she watches ants walking around carrying things.

“Oh, look,” she said, her voice monotone. “There’s one walking around carrying a thing.”

Graduate student Andrew Merrell joined the Gordon lab in 2013, hoping to use ant behaviours to learn about group dynamics, but ended up instead spending hours watching ants and contemplating the true meaning of loneliness and boredom.

“Maybe if they had a mating season, things would get more exciting, but they don’t, so, yeah,” he said, his voice trailing off.

He admitted to introducing a small plastic soccer ball into the ants’ habitat last May in the hopes that the ants would develop some more stimulating behaviour, to no avail.

“I put it right in their path, but the ants just got lost trying to go around it.”

In an effort to spice up their research, Gordon and her colleagues sent eight groups of ants to the International Space Station in January 2014.

“We assumed being in minimal gravity would be really fun and cool for them,” said Gordon. “But, no, they just walked around. Carrying things.” ♦

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