My uncle told me about a story when I was a kid, between 1989 and 1995. It is either a written story or a short film. There might be obvious mistakes in my description, but I am hoping someone can recognize this one:

A scientist is experimenting on an ant colony (or another kind of bug colony). He finds a mysterious element that he thinks is a byproduct of the existence or activities of the ants. However, he is unable to ascribe this element to anything sensible. In the end he discovers that the element is a byproduct of his interaction and experiments on the ant colony. The story ends with him finding (perhaps by accident) the same element naturally present in the Earth's atmosphere. Astonished, he realizes that there must be another higher being experimenting on humankind the same way he did with the ants.

  • I heard this story somewhere between 89' and 95'. – Abai Mar 13 '16 at 18:00
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    This doesn't fit all your perimeters, but could it be "Sandkings" by George R. R. Martin? It had a scientist experimenting on ant(like) creatures. – ivory Mar 13 '16 at 21:56
  • @ivory I read the summary for "Sandkings" it sounds very interesting but I don't think that is the book. While at it I also came across "Microcosmic God" by Theodore Sturgeon. Some great similarities there too, but I am not entirely confident it is the story I am looking for. Thank you! – Abai Mar 16 '16 at 10:34
  • FWIW "Sandkings" was adapted into the first episode of "The Outer Limits" (1995) (see wiki article here), but the adaptation plays out as a somewhat different story. In the adaptation, a scientist performs a rogue experiment on ant-like creatures brought back to Earth from Mars; the twist in the adaptation is that his subjects turn out to be highly intelligent and dangerous, and were actually toying with him until they make an escape, threatening the world. – Anthony X Jan 14 at 4:08
  • My first guess was imdb.com/title/tt0070531 but it does not fit. – Hothie Jan 14 at 7:53

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