What If We Were the Size of Ants?

During a BBC Four documentary, the question was asked: what if we were the size of ants? Ants are small, but strong. They can lift many times their own weight. They also have the impressively long mandibles (jaws). They can open and close their mouths more than a hundred miles per hour.

The average ant weighs around 60mg. In comparison, the average human weighs around 62kg. The ant’s exoskeleton assists with joint-strength in its neck and jaw.

The ant’s most impressive feat is its ability to lift many times its own weight. A recent study found that ants could carry 22 trillion pounds, which is roughly the amount of weight a human can lift.

Another impressive feat is its ability to lift the human sized version of a pizza. The average ant can lift up to 10-50 times its body weight.

The ant’s ability to lift large objects is the result of its small volume, complex surface area, and complex mathematics. Its muscle cross-sectional area is also much greater than that of an average human.

The best explanation for ants being able to lift such a weight is that they are able to do so due to their complex exoskeleton. Compared to humans, ants have much smaller brain cells, which means they can’t think as fast.

The ant’s ability to make its way through a tunnel is also impressive, because ants can expand into massive underground networks. If we were the size of ants, any open space would be transformed into a colony in no time at all.