Terrifying and fascinating at the same time, the face of the “carpenter” looks like it came out of a science fiction film, or directly from an updated version of the 1989 film “Honey, I Shrunk the Boys”. Instead it is reality, shown to our eyes thanks to the nature photographer’s formidable macro shot Eugenijus Kavaliauskas who “portrayed” such an ant Camponotusalso known as “carpenter ant”.
With this shot, immediately shared by thousands of users online, Kavaliauskas won a mention in the category “Images of Distinction” of the prize Nikon Small World 2022a competition that for over 50 years has been dedicated to photographs of the invisible, from bacteria to microorganisms to insects, again thanks to the use of microscopes and macro lenses.
Until recently Kavaliauskas immortalized mainly birds, but recently he decided to devote himself to insects: near his home in the town of Tauragè, in Lithuania, has found a colony of “carpenters”, ants that dig and nest in tree trunks or dead wood. Focusing on one of these thanks to a 5x lens, the wonderful shot was born that depicts what appears to us as a face and which for the proportion of the elements reminds us almost of a human face, even if it must be said that those that appear as haunted eyes they are actually the bases of the ant’s antennae.
The image did not fall into the winning category of the Top20 but it quickly became viral because of its power, with the ant looking threatening, or proud. A pride that should never be underestimated: “If ants were removed from most of the world’s ecosystems, they would radically change and in some cases collapse” he recalled Miles Maxcerresearcher with the National Science Foundation of the University of Florida.