Big Termite mounds in Brazil seen from space

Last updated at 07:44
cartoon of large mounds

Termite mounds in Brazil are so big they cover land the size of the UK and are so tall they can be seen from space.

At 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) tall and 9 metres (30 feet) wide, the mounds have been built by a termite species, called Syntermes dirus, for 4000 years.

Shaped in a grid pattern the mounds cover a space of 88,800 square miles.

A birds eye view of termite moundsStephen Martin
The termite mounds are so big they can be seen from space

The heaped mounds aren't lived in by the insects, instead researchers from 'Current Biology' say the heaped earth is merely waste material brought to the surface by the termites as they carve out lots of underground tunnels for their homes beneath the surface.

Termite moundsRoy Funch
These termite mounds are bigger than a man

Syntermes dirus are some of the largest termites in world, they are often used as food by the local tribes in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

These termites live underground and feed on dead leaves from the forest floor at night. Like most termites, these insects are blind but they are very good at making soil mounds.

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