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Can ants eat through a computer’s GPU?

Answer: Apparently it happens a lot.

Silhouette of ants carrying leaves along a branch. Light green background.
Anyone who’s had an ant infestation knows, once they get in there’s nowhere they can’t go. And apparently, there’s not much they can’t eat their way through, either. Including your PC.

One user recently posted a horror story on Reddit of how he noticed his gaming computer’s GPU temps were higher than normal, which is one of the first indicators of a problem. However, he was not expecting to discover “ants marching on my GPU and on top of my case” when he went to investigate. The ants — which turned out to be fire ants, just to make this story worse — had found their way into the GPU and were eating the paste on the core and the thermal pads for the VRAM.

According to Digital Trends’ Jacob Roach, who reported on the incident, this is actually not uncommon. There are stories all over the Internet of people discovering ants in all components of their electronics, from power supplies to mice to monitors. No one knows definitively why ants seem to like burrowing into our computers. Maybe it’s just because the components are warm, or maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell us something.