I follow quite a few YouTube channels. Some of them are purely for the visually stunning creations they post. Others are for the information they provide. Occasionally, though, you come across a channel that does both. That’s Ant Lab, the channel of Dr Adrian Smith at the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab.
Dr Smith’s content focuses primarily on bugs, and we’ve featured him here on DIYP before. A few times, actually. His videos are as fascinating as they are beautiful and this one of various insects preparing for flight and taking off at 6,000fps is no exception.
The video was inspired by a series of photos he saw in the book Borne on the Wind: The Extraordinary World of Insects in Flight by Stephen Dalton. Published in 1975, the book has some beautiful photographs showing various stages of insect takeoff as multiple exposures on black backgrounds. Dr Smith wanted to try to reproduce this in slow motion video form.
When we see bugs in real-time in front of our face, they all seem kind of haphazard in their movements, but when you see them slowed down this much, you get to really see how their body works to keep them in the air. But even more fascinating than the flight itself is that transition from standing on a flat surface and actually getting into the air.
It’s an amazing video, and if you want to see more, be sure to follow Ant Lab on YouTube.