# How many ants does it take to carry a human infant away?

1. Jul 30, 2011

### flyingpig

Ants can carry mass like 5 times of themselves, I am wondering if there are like a swarm of ants, can they actually carry a human child away?

2. Jul 30, 2011

### ecneicS

Its theoretically possible. The ants have to have a combined mass of 1/5th the weight of the child (assuming they carry 5x their weight like you said). These ants also have to actually be under the child to support it. This is probably the biggest limiting constraint in practice because their is only so much area beneath the child but in theory it can work because their can be several 'layers' of ants holding each other up. Realistically, I'd vote not possible.

3. Jul 30, 2011

### phinds

I also believe it would not be possible, but because of the "give" of human flesh. If the same weight were made of a similarly shaped hollow piece of hard substance, then ecneics point would take over and the problem would be that there couldn't be enough ants under the mass.

If the ants could convince the infant to crawl up onto a large thin plywood sheet, and they got several more ants, and they could all get spread out evenly under the plywood, then they'd probably all just get crushed when the mom came over and picked up the infant.