Glowing ant farms, floating deities

Fun & Games Science
Glowing ant farms, floating deities

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The gang(s) from Fascinations (wonders created by physicists) & SimerLab (makers of floating things) were @The NYC Toy fair 2008 – I’ve seen the glowing ant farms before (called AntWorks) but seeing this many in one spot is pretty interesting. AntWorks is based on a 2003 NASA Space Shuttle experiment to study animal life in space and test how ants successfully tunnel in microgravity, now you can bring NASA’s handiwork to your home/office with a kit. You can watch the ants live, work and tunnel in the nutritious and non-toxic gel as they create intricate tunnels and you can light them up, the tunnels – not the ants.

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Also present, SimerLab, they make just about anything float – you’ve seen floating globes via magnetism, they do that and then some with their levitation devices and systems.


  • Fascinations – Link.
  • SimerLab – Link.
  • More photos @ Flickr – Link.
  • Giant set of NYC Toy fair 2008 photos @ Flickr – Link.
  • MAKE’s coverage of the NYC Toy Faire 2008 in one place! – Link.

6 thoughts on “Glowing ant farms, floating deities

  1. Shadyman says:

    Darn, I wanted to farm glowing ants!

  2. Holly B says:

    What if I put an ant farm on the levitation device? Would the ants get vertigo?

  3. John Laur says:

    Does anyone have any info on how to make the gel? I would have thought there would be more info from NASA, but I have not been able to find anything. I’d like to make a much larger version of this but the gel has been a stumbling block.

    The best I can tell it’s a quite dense agar-agar gel similar to that used in a petri dish but it has more nutrients in it and an anti-microbial of some sort to keep the bacteria growth down.

    My best guess at recreating it is to experiment with gelling agar with a liquid multivitamin and to use honey as a potential anti-microbial additive. Admittedly I have not tasted the gel in the AntWorks product — that would probably help.

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