West Coast – Of monsters and men


Termites in general  are small in size (about half the size of match-head) and soft bodied insects. They build a central colony nest from which they construct underground tunnels that radiate in a 100 metre radius from a central colony nest in search of a timber (cellulose) food source. Once a nest is mature (over 100,000 or much higher) they can split off to form other nests over a wide ranging area. These sub nests are formed constantly and can sustain life for along period of time without contact to the original nest.

Mastotermes darwiniensis is one of the worlds most destructive termite species, often causing severe damage to houses, buildings, bridges, posts, poles, and many other plant and animal products. They are also an agricultural pest, responsible for ringbarking and killing living trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetable crops, sugarcane and rubber trees.

Mastotermes darwiniensis is reported to attack rubber tyres on tractors and cause damage to leather, hide, plastic or lead-sheathed cables, bitumen, bagged salt, flour, glass and various metals. They are the most ancient of all the termites in the world and they occur only in Australia. A termite to be feared.

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But not only termites colonise and terrorise Australia. Humans succeeded in building vehicles so powerful and tall that there is no distance too far or resource too deep.

In proportion to the mining machines there are of course heaps of carriers.

The mining sector is Australia’s biggest income and the mining companies can do almost anything in the outback. Building and abandon complete towns in the middle of nowhere is no problem at all. They are 100% depending on supplies from outside and just exist for one purpose. Give shelter and entertainment to the workers for the time it takes to get all the resources out of the earth.

It’s common to see road trains (trucks with 3-4 trailers) on Central Australian roads. They are quite impressive and make sure you close the windows of the car before they pass by.

Nevertheless there is an even bigger version of road trains. These trucks transport trucks, mining gear or complete houses. Because they are so over sized, everything has to give way to them.