How Strong Would a Man-Sized Ant be?

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How Strong Would a Man-Sized Ant be?


It is well known that ants are exceptionally strong and fast. Although estimates vary, the average ant can carry between 10 and 50 times its own body weight, and run at approximately 300 meters an hour, a rate of nearly 800 times its body length a minute. This is equivalent to the average western man carrying between 850 and 4500kg (4.5 tonnes) over his head, and running at a speed of 83km or 52 miles per hour. If ants can do it, why can’t we? The calculation above is essentially redundant, because a human-sized ant wouldn’t be able to travel at 50 miles an hour, in fact it wouldn’t be able to run at all; its legs would crumble under the weight of its own body. In fact, the human-sized ant would have been dead long before it tried to run, because the supply of oxygen to its organs wouldn’t have been sufficient to keep it alive, even for a second.

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Featured image is copyright of Claire Asher, Curiosity Photographic

12 comments on “How Strong Would a Man-Sized Ant be?

  1. Great information, but you slipped a decimal.

    A 90 kg human lifting 50 times his weight is lifting 4500 kg or 4.5 tonnes. Still impressive but it would be more like carrying a lorry and less like carrying a tank.

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  6. Can you imagine the size of the insecticide? It would have to be attached to a missile. Sounds like something out of Jules Verne.

    • It would most likely be outperformed by a human in most regards since its muscle mass to skeleton mass ratio would be lower.

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