Mysterious video of ants circling phone

Strange footage of ants snapping into formation when an iPhone gets a call has the internet spellbound.

But can it be easily explained?

Associate Professor Nigel Andrew of Department of Entomology at the University of New England told media: "A lot of ants use magnetism to orientate themselves.

“[They] have magnetic receptors in their antennae. If they're travelling long distances they use magnetic cues from the earth to know if they are going north, east, south or west."

Australian social insect researcher Simon Robson of Queensland's James Cook University told ninemsn the phone had nothing to do with the ants’ behaviour.

"There are many ants that actually start forming in a circle without the phone," Mr Robson said.

"It's an unavoidable consequence of their communication systems. Having the ants together like that, the shape of the phone may have something to do with it and the vibration might get them a bit more excited, but a lot of ants will do it even without the phone."

Either way, the footage has gone viral and delighted internet users.

News break - August 31