Ants invade and crawl inside woman’s Kindle – and even start buying books

Brazilian journalist Mariana Lopes Vieira’s Amazon Kindle was colonised by a tribe of ants, which might be enough of a problem, but the mischievous insects made matters worse by ordering two books on her account.

Mariana’s friend, the writer Fabiane Guimarães, Tweeted the story of the unlikely ant invasion and it quickly went viral, collecting over 66,000 likes.

Fabiane wrote: “A friend of mine is going through a most unusual situation: her Kindle has been invaded by ants. They made a nest in the little hole in the charger.

READ MORE: Hundreds of ants discovered in unopened box after eight months by shocked delivery crew

“But that's not the worst," Fabiane added. "The worst thing is that the ants are BUYING books. She doesn't know what to do.”

Because the tiny animals had set up home in the device’s charging port, Mariana couldn’t recharge it.

But the bigger problem was that the ants had gone on a little shopping spree while they were inside her Kindle.

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Because Mariana had one-click purchases enabled on the Kindle, it was possible for the ants to buy books just by crawling around inside the device.

Engineer Rafael Rech di Muzio explains: “Kindle uses a capacitive touch, which detects capacitance changes on the display to know where the touch was made.

“The ants, in large numbers, can change the capacitance of the screen and the device interprets that as a touch or some gesture on the screen.”

The ants managed to spend just under £13 of Mariana’s money buying Isaac Asimov’s 1985 sci-fi anthology “Robots and the Empire” and Eduardo Giannetti's thought-provoking meditation on the function of laws and moral constraints in a modern society "The Ring of Gyges".

A thorough check of both books reveals little that would obviously be of interest for an ant, or group of ants.

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Mariana managed to fix the problem by freezing her Kindle overnight and has now requested a refund for the cost of the books purchased by the ants.

The remarkable ant invasion isn’t as unusual an event as you might imagine. Earlier this month another woman, Renata Alves Frederi, posted a video to TikTok showing an army of ants insider her Kindle and flipping pages – making the device completely unusable.

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