It’s come a long way since the toy ant farms of the 1950s. Today, hobbyists have gotten so good at it that scientists are turning to them for help.

After ants invaded my kitchen a few summers ago, I turned to r/ants for help. Next thing I knew I was getting tips from teenage antkeepers in South Korea and Azerbaijan. In the last decade, tens of thousands of people around the world have taken up the hobby; their secret world is just as diverse and fascinating as the ants they love. Check out the full story published in National Geographic.

Image credit: Martinho G. Marques, Camponotus lighti (Asian Species)

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