The Fascinations AntWorks farm is one of the sleekest looking designs you’ll find in the world of science toys. If it looks out of this world, it is.
The design benefitted from the findings of a 2003 NASA Space Shuttle experiment that studied how ants build tunnels in zero-gravity and micro-gravity environments.
It features a clear glass case with a light blue gel that illuminates ant activities and tunnels. The blue gel serves as the nutritional gel that allows the ants to thrive in a no water or food environment.
What do you get in the box? You get a pre-filled ant farm, a magnifying glass, a magnifying loupe, and a stick to start the tunnels.
Fascinations do not include ants in the shipment. You’ll need to buy your own, and the manufacturer recommends buying harvester ants.
One thing to note is the lack of ventilation system. Fascinations recommend opening the lid at least every two weeks to allow air into the tube.
However, you might find you need to open the top far more often than that, or the ants grow sluggish and eventually die. Additionally, opening the lid means you dramatically increase the risk of escape.
Harvester ants, in particular, are aggressive when they see the moment of opportunity for escape arise. You’ll need to make sure that only an adult opens the lid, and you’ll want to avoid opening the lid as often as possible.