Ants! You are probably familiar with them seeing as they are everywhere. In your garden, on the streets and of course the annoying ones in your kitchen you can’t seem to get rid of.
I mean there are over 7 billion people in the world and for each person there are about 1 million ants, don’t worry I will do the maths, it works out to be 7,000,000,000,000! Okay enough of the numbers you get the picture.
However in the Daintree Rainforest, as you would probably expect, we don’t have your average ant. Like everything here it has to have a little twist so allow me to introduce you to the coolest ant ever, the green ant.
Also known as weaver ants these little guys call Cape Tribulation home. They grow up to 5-10mm long, have a yellowish brown body and a green abdomen. Doesn’t sound too much different from your everyday ant really apart from their round green bum. Do not be fooled by their simple appearance they are impressive.
To start off green ants don’t live underground they use the leaves of trees to construct their nests which I suppose makes sense seeing as there isn’t a shortage of trees in the Daintree Rainforest. It is however not the most fun part of being an ant. They send worker ants around the area to check the flexibility of leaves… probably as interesting as it sounds. Once they deem these leaves up to the job and talk to their supervisors they form a bridge with their bodies pulling the leaves together then proceed to bind it with a silk they collect from their larvae (eggs). Job done.
So our Cape Tribulation ants are already winning but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The really interesting thing about the green ants is you can lick the end of their bums and you get a lemon burst! Yes I know crazy isn’t it? It took a lot of licking ant’s bums for me to find this out.
Now you might be wondering why on earth someone would do this. Well green ants also happen to be good for you especially if you have a cold or a flu. The Kuku Yalanji, who have called Cape Tribulation home for thousands of years, make a tea out of them. They do this by collecting the nests and boiling it in hot water, this is the most effective way of releasing the nutrients. They contain high amounts of vitamin C as well as protein! So next time you are a bit under the weather forget the green tea and go for a green ant tea instead.
Just to add to this green ants have become an important ingredient in a new green ant cheese and more importantly a green ant gin! We can’t wait to try both. If you are looking at getting into the industry a kilo of green ants can get you up to $650 so what are you waiting for? Ditch your average ants and come to Cape Tribulation where everything is better, especially the ants.