Unintended Consequences

At the UC Davis Picnic Day recently one exhibit that caught my attention was “Termite Trails”.    Someone accidentally discovered that live termites will follow any squiggly line drawn with a blue BIC pen.    Curious.  Only that brand, and only that color works the magic.  It turns out there is something in the ink in blue BIC pens that mimics a termite hormone.  Fascinating.

I wonder what OTHER unintended consequences may result from the formulation of that blue ink … or the thousands of other innocent seeming concoctions that surround us every day.

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