Step aside sheesha: Arab teens smoke crushed ants!

Young men in United Arab Emirates have jumped on a bizarre, and weirdly “green” addiction, passing on cigarettes and sheesha to smoking dead ants to get high. They crush local black ants (Pachycondyla sennaarensis) and blend the crumbs in tobacco, drop them into a medhwak (smoking pipe) or sprinkle them on regular smokes before lighting up, according to Gulf News. Health officials say the consequences could be far more harmful than smoking marijuana or hashish.

In certain neighborhoods of Sharjah and Dubai, teens can be found searching alleys and parking lots for the native black ants, called samsun. The fumes from the burnt insect produce visual and auditory hallucinations like those induced by marijuana.

“Samsun ants contain highly concentrated formic acid which is used by the insect to ward off predators and kill prey. When heated the formic acid produces toxic gases. They are not addictive but inhaling them can cause pulmonary fibrosis and renal failure besides other conditions including...

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