It’s the middle of February here. It’s been snowing a lot and there’s three to four feet of snow on my lawn. This is the drift height caused by the wind. In areas without the wind there’s a foot to a foot and a half. So I started thinking about the opposite season, the summer season. And summer means picnics and ants. On TV you can see ants carrying off picnic cakes. To find if this is true I searched the internet and made a few calculations.
First I found on Pestworldforkids.org that, “Ants can lift 20 times their body weight.”
Now all I needed was the weight of a cake and the weight of an ant.
From answerbag.com, I found the weight of the average ant was 0.003 grams.
From a cake mix box I found the mix itself weights 517 grams. Also, 1 and 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 3 whole eggs are added. To simplify things I let the volume of the eggs equal 1 cup. After adding all the liquid ingredients together, I had 1 and 5/6 cups. Again to simplify I let all the liquid ingredients be water.
Now, for the calculations, I had 517 grams of a solid to add to 1 and 5/6 cups of water. Everything needed to be in grams. So I went back to the internet. From eHow.com, I found that 1 milliliter of water weights 1 gram. And from wiki.answers.com I found the 1 cup = 236 milliliters. Using these and calculating, which I know how to do cause I went to college and got a Bachelors of Science degree, the liquid ingredients weighed 433 grams. Therefore the total weight of the cake, without frosting, is 950 grams.
Now by dividing the weight of the cake by 20, the weight of one ant to carry off the cake is 47.5 grams.
Since an ant’s weight is 0.003 grams, one ant isn’t big enough to carry off the cake. However by dividing 47.5 grams by 0.003 grams it is found that 15,833 ants can carry off a cake. So what have we learned here?
We have learned there’s not a lot to do with 3 feet of snow in the yard and I don’t have a can of frosting.