Saturday, June 14, 2014
Just how big is that Ant Hill?
(Preparation Day Outing June 14, 2014 - President Robison and one of his West Indies Missionaries, Donny Dayton)
This is a termite tower located about 2 hours East of Tema. In the temple on the wall outside the Counselor to the President's Office is a painting of about 5 of these. The Saints refer to them as Ant Hills.
Most species of termites tunnel down, building nests underground or in trees or wood buildings. But some species build up. These master builders live in Africa, Australia, Asia, and South America. Some build towers up to 30 feet (over 9 meters) high.
How do termites build towers? When termites dig, they bring the soil to the surface. They mix their saliva with the soil so that it hardens. The more soil the termites dig, the higher the tower grows.
Termite towers have a special purpose: to warm and cool the nest. The fungus-growing termites of Africa have towers that are mostly hollow. Hollow towers act like chimneys, letting the hot air rise. Small tunnels down the sides let fresh air in, keeping the queen cool.
Africans have found great uses for these towers as they make great kilns.