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Termites are much more than house-eating pests. They're interesting animals and their interactions with humans can be quite unexpected. How about termites infesting an aircraft and reducing the pilot's ability to control it?
Well, it really did happen once! Rats! That link's dead now
Yes, termites can damage transportation, but more often they are found in boats and cargo. On the other hand, the people of Andros Island in the Bahamas use the mud from termite mounds to caulk their boats!
In some places, according to an article in Northern Miner (vol 81 no. 38 which is no longer freely available on the web), termites' deep digging concentrates ore on the surface where it is more easily sampled. Surveys in the African nation of Niger used the earth of termite mounds to find gold. Over time, the actions of termites can have profound changes. It is claimed that, over thousands of years, termites have contributed the significant quantities of nitrates in a huge body of water, the Great Artesian Basin, an aquifer that underlies much of inland Australia.
Termites and science certainly do make strange partners . . .

Around the world, lots of people eat termites (it isn't as crazy as it sounds, winged termites are very nutritious, and especially when lightly fried, reasonably tasty).
Termites are important in the diets of many ants, lizards and birds and there are quite a few specialist feeders such as aardvarks, aardwolves and numbats, but did you know that they are also eaten by lions and gorillas? Usenet news seems to always have a mention somewhere of our close relative the chimpanzee's habit of using a twig tool to fish termites from their galleries. Fish, especially salmonids, are big predators of flying termites. Termitophile anglers can get their own backwith this neat design from the Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre.

Thinking of what termites eat, consider their role in banking. Gracie Scruggs of the US Treasury says that termites eat more paper money than do dogs, horses and pigs.

Just thinking about productivity, I doubt if anything can match the output of a mature African Macrotermes queen who it is said, can lay 50,000 eggs a day and lives for around 30 years. That's more than 25 million offspring! I find it hard to believe. Some researchers put the maximum rate at around 20,000 per day. Even then, that's 24 hours, 24x60=1440 minutes x60=86,400 seconds or one egg every 4.32 seconds. Sure beats chickens!.