03:58 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Termiteropolis the Size of Great Britain in Brazil Visible From Space (PHOTOS)

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    Hard work by colonies of termites that have created a giant swath of terrain in the semiarid region of northeastern Brazil can be seen by humans and satellites alike.

    The species called Syntermes dirus have managed to build 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) tall and 9 metres (30 feet) wide mounds that cover a space of 88,800 square miles.

    If the dirt from the all the mounds, known as murundus, is put together, the amounting mass would reportedly require about 4,000 great pyramids of Giza to hold it.

    "The mounds are not nests, but rather they are generated by the excavation of vast inter-connecting tunnel networks, resulting in approximately 10 km3 of soil being deposited in 200 million conical mounds that are 2.5 m tall and approximately 9 m in diameter," the research published in Current Biology magazine revealed.

    Authors of the paper have called the constructed murundus "the greatest known example of ecosystem engineering by a single insect species."

    The termites in questions are some of the largest in the world and live underground, feeding on dead leaves, and like most termites are blind.

    insects, space, Brazil
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