Termite mounds

Now THAT is a team effort. Go termites.

Last weekend we took a road trip to Burao, east of Hargeisa. On the way out of the city, driving through the flat, dry, endless bush, I caught frequent glimpses of oddly shaped towers that appeared to growing upwards from the earth.

Some were talk and skinny, some short and lumpy, each uniquely misshapen, like wet sand a child has dripped from his hand to form a melting sand castle. The ones I saw were the height of a person, but apparently these termite mounds can reach a height of up to 30 feet.

Evidently colonies of millions of termites can live in a single mound. Actually, they live in an underground nest one metre below the surface, and the above-ground mound is just a sort of ventilation system to control the temperature and moisture of the termites’ subterranean household. So, basically, in Somaliland, humans can’t hope for any air conditioning anywhere, but the termites get it. How unfair.

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One Response to “Termite mounds”

  1. I have been away on business and I am now finally catching up on your blog. Termites build their on aircon, humans (particularly in Somaliland) decide not to build water wells, lay pipes, build power grids and then you can hope for aircon.
    Somalilanders instead choose to chew qat, drink tea and talk politics.

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