Fire ants are forming floating colonies to escape Storm Harvey floods

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Ants with extraordinary survival instincts are forming floating islands to escape floods caused by Storm Harvey.

The fiercest hurricane to hit the US in 13 years has wreaked havoc and brought devastating flooding to Houston, Texas. 

Houston Chronicle reporter Mike Hixenbaugh tweeted a video of the ants floating on the rising water with the caption: “Pro tip: Don’t touch the floating fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey.”

It has been retweeted nearly 25,000 times. 

People reacted with horror:

Mr Hixenbaugh speculated that the ants may be sacrificing themselves to save others. 

But according to the National Geographic, even bottom tier ants can survive this way, thanks to a waxy covering and tiny hairs which trap a thin layer of air. The island mutates in shape as the ants change places. 

Fire ants are an invasive species in the US, infamous for their nasty sting. Their unsettling floating survival tactic is not a new phenomenon; the islands have been known to house a population of more than 100,000 ants and can survive floating for more than a week. 

Sinking the ant rafts is nearly impossible except with soap, which breaks the water’s surface tension. But Texas environmental research centre A & M Agrilife Extension recommends not to touch the colonies as they move quickly onto dry objects.  


1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutube

Leave a Reply