Central Illinois still resembles the frozen lifeless tundra, so to get my bug-hunting fix I’ve been surfing about on Google Earth. Here at -13.066783, 130.847383 I’ve found something: Australia’s magnificent magnetic termites. The green things are trees, but the little black pimply bits? Those are the termites. On the ground they look like this:
The mounds are shaped as thin blades along a north-south orientation as though following compass direction. The reasons for this odd architecture are still a matter of research, but the general view is that the shape helps termites avoid the heat of the tropical midday sun, and the extra surface area allows for more efficient respiration.