VFX Artist Digitally Renders Earth’s 20 Quadrillion Ants

When VFX artist Wren of Corridor Digital came across a report that stated that there are 20 quadrillion ants on Earth, he knew he had to at least attempt to render this incredible amount digitally. He measured and documented the size of an average ant and created a true-to-scale, giant ball of digital ants that stands as tall as the Burj Khalifa or as flat as the entire state of Minnesota.

If all 20 quadrillion ants could cling together into one giant Giga ball how big with this pile of ants be? It would have a diameter of 860 meters, making it taller than the tallest building in the entire world which is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. …Well did you know that if all 20 quadrillion ants could be laid out flat it would cover…Minnesota, the 12th state in the entire country. Minneapolis would be terrifying place to live.

True Scale of Ants on Earth

Wren also calculated how long that line of 20 quadrillion ants would be.

So if all of the ants in the entire world were to line up butt to mouth how long would that line be? Take a guess how many times around the earth do you think this line would go? An average ant is .0045 meters times 20 quadrillion. 90 billion kilometers! I think we need a better unit of measurement for this. The astronomical unit. The distance from Earth to the Sun that means that our line of ants which stretch from here to the Sun and back 300 times.

Wren also shared his rendering with insect experts Patrick Schultheiss and Sabine Nooten, the primary researchers of the paper who provided data for the video. They were impressed.

The lead authors of the paper and the quote that started this whole thing have actually been helping me with this video they provided me with information to figure out the average size of the ants and I just thought it was fitting that after all of that I could show them the actual visuals I came up with …

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.