When Ants Sense Danger
WADEA Omrany notes a new scientific miracle in Surah Al-Naml (“Ants”), Verse number 18. This new miracle is about the scientific discovery that ants communicate with each other, especially when informing of impending danger.
God says what means in Surah Al-Naml: “At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: ‘O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts should crush you (under foot without knowing it).” (27:18)
The ant reported the imminent danger facing them in four successive stages as follow:
Here’s what science says in this context.
Ants use chemical communication in situations of alarm and defence, when fast exchange of information is necessary, and when they face expected danger. This alarm is generally expressed by the emission of chemical signals. The protective glands are responsible for the roles of alarm and defence.
The Australian ant is a case in point. When these ants face danger, they secrete some droplets from their protective gland – so that their fellow ants run and make a vibration with their antennas showing that they are in state of alert.
The first substance detected by the ants is analdehyde hexanal. This draws their attention. As a result, they agitate and raise their antennae to search for other odors.
When they detect hexanol (the first message was in the form of alcohol), the ants go into a state of alert and run in all directions in search of the source of problem. When undécanone is emitted, it attracts the ants toward the source of danger and makes them bite all foreign objects in the anthill. Finally, when they come closer to the target, they discern the butyloctenal , which increases their aggression and their readiness to sacrifice themselves .
Chemical communication is the most important method of communication for ants. They give out different kinds of substances, each having a different code denoting a certain message.
These messages are the same as those of the ant in Surah Al-Naml Verse 18.
The substances that an ant gives out of its body in a situation like this are divided into four, with each substance having a certain language and code.
The successive scientific stages of the reaction of the ants are as follows:
This substance shows the cause of the danger, and that was what the ant did when it said in the third phrase “lest Solomon and his hosts should crush you (under foot).” In this stage, the ants that receive this substance get ready to face the impending danger.
So Prophet Solomon smiled tenderly and mercifully as if saying they needn’t worry as he had seen them and would not allow any harm to befall them.
These scientific facts were mentioned in the Holy Qur’an more than 1,400 years ago.