ALL the Ants!

It has been a while since the last Wednesday Wow post. Not so much due to the lack of things that made me go “Wow!” so much as a lack of genuinely interesting things that made me go “Wow!” I suppose the older one gets, the more jaded (and faded) one gets. [Don’t grow old if you can avoid it. It kinda sucks.]

But I found myself actually (literally!) exclaiming “Wow!” (and LOL-ling) when I watched the video that’s the centerpiece of this post. To fill out the post, I’ll include some similar videos they’ve done. It’s all about framing size comparisons to help communicate the smallness (or largeness) of something.

In this case, ants. All the ants. In the world.

I’ve come to be a bit leery of including YouTube videos in my posts (other than ones I created myself). They too often break, either due to copyright issues, due to being made private, or just being deleted. It’s happened to many of my older posts. These days I try only to link to channels that seem official and likely to be long-lived. (Music videos are especially fragile. I’ll only link to entertainment content by owners of that content. As for instance, in the bonus video at the end of this post.)

That said, I have some faith in the longevity of the Corridor Crew YouTube channel. It’s the official channel of a professional computer graphics studio, so hopefully the channel and its videos will prove robust.

The video will go into all this, but in summary, it began with a paper published in September of 2022: The abundance, biomass, and distribution of ants on Earth. It was, as the title says, about ants. Among other things, it includes a conservative estimate of the number of ants in the world:


In English, that’s twenty quadrillion ants. Not billions or trillions, quadrillions.

[I wrote about the human/ant war over ten years ago. See Them! Ants!]

The world population very recently achieved eight billion, and a simple bit of math results in the startling fact that there are 2.5 million ants for every person currently living. Which, incidentally, means that, contrary to a common assertion, the total number of ants does not outweigh the total weight of all humans. Even 2.5 million ants don’t weigh as much as one human (but they’ll sure ruin your picnic).

A Washington Post article about the paper caught the eye of Wren, one of the Corridor Crew. The title was: Scientists have calculated how many ants are on Earth. The number is so big it’s ‘unimaginable.’

It was the word “unimaginable” (quoted from the paper) that caught his eye and inspired the following video:

Amazing what CGI can accomplish these days, especially in the service of education.

I really like size/weight/length/time comparisons that use analogies to help communicate the scale of things! (See, for example, my Size Matters post.) And while the Corridor Crew mostly do videos related to CGI use in TV shows and movies, or videos more directly about computer generated images, they’ve done more than a dozen along these lines.

Here’s one about atoms:

And here’s one about the true scale of the universe:

If you’d like something a bit like science-y, here’s one about how big the spaceships in Star Wars are:

And here’s one that shows what would really be required to float the house in the Pixar movie Up (the last decent movie Pixar ever made or, at least, the last one I thought was worthy of their past):

You’ll find more in their VFX Artist Reveals playlist.

Their Corridor Crew Favorites! playlist has other tasty videos you might enjoy. I certainly have; they’re one of my favorite YouTube channels. They never disappoint.

So, if you enjoy these videos, you’ll find a lot more on their channel.

§ §

And they said I couldn’t publish a short post. Ha! It is to laugh.

I’ll leave you with a hopefully robust link to the all-time without-question funniest comedy routine ever, the famous “Who’s On First?” routine due to the great Bud Abbott and Lou Costello:

I grew up loving Abbott and Costello movies (but never got into The Three Stooges). I can’t recall when or where I first heard this routine, but since then I’ve heard it many times, and it cracks me up every time. Part of it is the letter-perfect performances, but most of it is the brilliant writing behind the bit.

This was their most famous routine, and they did it so often that they could adjust it on the fly to suit the need. Note how they work in Abbott’s stumble over the stage lights at the beginning. That wasn’t planned. True masters of their craft.



A common comedy mode is the mistaken identity. That guy Shakespeare used it a lot. To be done right, the dialog has to be as natural as possible. Too often, lazy writers force the dialog to allow the misunderstanding to persist and done poorly it comes off awkwardly. Done right there can be no point where the obvious statement or reply would immediately clear up the misunderstanding.

It’s true in this case (as a The Simpson’s episode once illustrated) if the baseball manager is more precise about “Who” and “What” being the proper names of the players. Even so, in this bit, Costello’s replies feel completely natural, especially given the pacing of the bit. Absolute brilliance. (Wow!)

[For another great example of the mistaken identity trope, see the Bill Murray movie, The Man Who Knew Too Little. It’s one of the best and most well-done examples of a long-form version and a very funny movie. A favorite of mine.]

§ §

Nuff sed!

Stay gi-ant, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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