Termite pointers

As a minor amplification to the picture on page 74 in the December ’06 edition of ITN, on a 1998 trip to Australia we found lots of termite mounds all over the central area, especially around Alice. Of interest is that the mounds are known in many parts as “magnetic mounds.” The reference is not to any magnetism.

Rather, in most cases the mounds are slab-sided, and the termites apparently prefer to spend the morning in the sun on the east side of the mound and then move to the west side for the afternoon sun. As a result, the axis of the mound is always north-south, with the flat sides facing east and west.

This may provide useful bearings for someone in the desert.


Ormond Beach, FL