“It’s the Matrix, but for locusts.” – the video title that Youtube suggested to me today, and as it was from one of my subscriptions, I could not resist watching it. The title is not clickbait, and this educational clip tells about the research at the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Konstanz, Germany. The researchers are using simulated worlds to study locust behavior. The goal is to understand how locusts swarm and how to control these devastating swarms. The research is important because locusts are a significant threat to food security in many parts of the world. They can destroy entire crops in a matter of hours, and they’re difficult to control because they’re so mobile and can travel long distances.
Tom Scott is asking a good question about the ethical side of such research, even if just for insects. Won’t it make us feel more comfortable doing the same to more intelligent creatures? As usual, if moving in small steps from insects to animals to humans, it’s hard to notice the line where we should stop. Yes, I understand that it’s a slippery slope argument, and the research is very important, but it’s still worth thinking about.
The video has more interesting facts, so I recommend watching it. It’s a good bite of knowledge for a lunch break.
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