How many ants would it take to carry Daddy?

daddy-lift-strong

Ants are incredibly strong creatures. There are thousands of species of ants in the world and they can carry objects that are up to 10 to 50 times their own body weight. One super-strong ant has been photographed lifting a weight that is 100 times heavier than itself!

My 5-year-old wanted to know how many ants would be required to carry her Daddy away. To calculate an answer, I collected some facts about Daddy and leafcutter ants

Daddy:

  • Approximate weight: 75kg (or 75,000g)

Leafcutter ants:

  • Average weight: 0.01g
  • Average length: 16mm
  • Strength: can lift up to 50 times their own weight

…and this is how I did the maths:

Since one ant weighs 0.01g and can carry an object 50 times heavier than itself, I multipled those two numbers together to calculate that one ant could carry a weight of 0.5g.

Then, to find out how many ants could carry Daddy’s weight, I divided his weight (75,000g) by the amount that one ant can carry (0.5g). So, it would take 150,000 ants to carry Daddy’s weight!

Although I’m not sure how they would organise themselves to lift him up and carry him off, I did work out that if all these ants lined up neatly, one behind another, the line would stretch for 2.4km!

Can you work out how many ants would be needed to carry you?!

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