Dad Discovers an Ant Death Ritual With a Fascinating Scientific Explanation

«Sugar cereals,» as many families refer to them, have always been nutritionally dubious. The intensely sugary bits of Technicolor grains are often criticized as an irresponsible choice for kids’ breakfasts. Their colors and marketing, especially their cartoon mascots, are geared at making children clamor for them in the cereal aisle. While the backlash against dessert-like products such as Fruity Pebbles is pretty ubiquitous, Twitter user @OctopusCaveman made a surprising and creepy discovery involving Trix that we will never, ever forget. 

We can’t blame OP for refusing to eat Trix ever again. The morbid yet fascinating ritual doesn’t really make us feel great about the cereal. While their tagline is «Trix are for kids,» it turns out that the ants weren’t rejecting the garishly colored spheres out of respect for children. Several followers chimed in to share that the ants were in fact reacting to the oleic acid in the cereal. After ants die, their corpses begin to emit the same chemical – the substance actually makes the insects aware of death. Once they detect the chemical, the famously diligent workers spring into action to get rid of their dead brethren. 

It seems the Trix triggered this response in the ants, and perhaps the cereal registered as dead ants to the creatures. Despite the fact that oleic acid occurs in everyday ingredients such as olive oil, the ritual gives us the heebie jeebies. But hey, we learned something new. 

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