The term “bug”, in computer lingo, comes from one of the first computer errors, where the computer operator literally found a cockroach in its guts. Since then, “bugs” tend to be programming errors, and insects largely stay out of computers. Unless you put them in there deliberately, like Francois Vautier.

Vautier wanted to see what would happen if he deliberately infested his old scanner, and also wanted a record of it. So he put an ant colony and some other material in said scanner, and ran it once a week, every week, for five years.

The result is a kinda-neat, kinda-creepy stop motion video showing the scanner slowly decaying as nature gets its claws dug in. The ants, after five years, managed to completely destroy the scanner, corrupting the electronics and breaking the plastic parts. It’s a useful reminder that nature can defeat even the best-designed piece of human manufacturing.

Then again, it’s just a crappy scanner. Let’s see how they do against an iPad.

[ via Boing Boing ]