The Magnetic Termite Mounds of Litchfield Park

Originally published at: The Magnetic Termite Mounds of Litchfield Park | Boing Boing


Litchfield is wonderful for so many other reasons as well as the termite mounds, which are pretty cool. The waterholes and waterfalls are especially glorious, as long as you don’t go during the wet season when occasionally saltwater crocodiles get washed into the ponds. Unlike the freshwater crocs, they’re not more scared of you than you are of them.

If you find yourself in Darwin with time to spare, it’s definitely worth renting a car and doing a day trip.


Our of curiosity, I did the math to compare the termite mounds to human buildings based on relative size. The Cathedral mounds would be about twice the height of the Burj Khalifa if expanded to human scale, while the magnetic mounds are mere Empire State Buildings.

Note: I used the length of a termite (3/8”) and compared that to the height of a human. If you consider that termites are horizontally oriented creatures, the structures would be much taller. I’d guess that termites are at least twice as long as they are tall.


So if I’m reading that sign correctly, people swim when there are freshwater crocs present? People far braver and more confident in their ability to distinguish a freshwater from a saltwater croc than I.


Magnetic (or compass) termites because the mounds are north-pointing wedges.


Generally not knowingly, and (apparently) the sounds of humans will drive them away.


Thanks for that. I did wonder :thinking:

FYI if you do go the area circled that leaves the park is NOT paved and gets flooded. Drive safely.

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