‘Dressed’ ant hills invade Outback … but is it funny?

Published: April 16, 2015

The Australian Outback is a place full of natural and – increasingly – unnatural wonders.

Grey nomads are used to seeing everything from bizarre rusted metal sculptures to ‘thong’ trees as they traverse the highways and byways of the bush. While the occasional quirky addition to the sparse landscape can bring a smile to a weary traveller’s face, the rapid proliferation of man-made ‘attractions’ can also upset some.

A case in point is the rapid rise of the ‘dressed ant mound’ phenomenon which is sweeping northern Australia. Grey nomads report ever growing numbers of mounds adorned in dresses, footy shirts and everything in between. Some even have faces painted on them.

The North West Star newspaper reports huge numbers of decorated mounds between Camooweal and Cloncurry in north-west Queensland.

Camooweal’s Post Office Hotel publican Chris Doyle said some people ‘get a kick out of it’ but others complained because the clothes become dirty and ragged after a while.

“I just reckon it takes away a bit of the natural beauty,” he told the North West Star. “It seems now everyone is going to keep doing it and it will end up everywhere.”

Indjalandji-Dhidhanu man Colin Saltmere was interested in the ant hills even though he nearly stopped for what he believed was a miner who had broken down.

“It obviously takes your eyes off the road but it’s interesting,” Mr Saltmere told the Star. “It was a novelty similar to that of the ‘bike tree’ near Dajarra. These ones are a funny, funny thing.”

  • Where do you stand on these sorts of human additions to the landscape? Are they cute novelties …or natural beauty destroyers?
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Gane Ahern
7 years ago

Not funny, not a novelty. No different to throwing your garbage around , the work of morons .

Shirley Gray
7 years ago

Wyandra has the Bra fence, all colours, sizes & shapes apparently started to raise money for breast cancer.

rod wallis
7 years ago

No, not cute novelties at all.
The article described it well – “natural beauty destroyers”.
It’s nothing but vandalism and littering.
The idiots who do it should be fined for littering.
The idiots who promote it or support it should be named and shamed.

Bob McKerrow
7 years ago

I think some people may need to be shown that these structures are the home of animals. They build them that way so they can survive. This is their world then some moron comes along and stuffs up the way nature has designed these edifices by ‘Dressing them up”. Not funny.


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