Fire Ant Raft: Insects Link To Form Living, Unsinkable Boat (VIDEO)
Not even a pool of water can put out these fire ants.
According to National Geographic, Georgia Institute of Technology engineering professor David Hu and graduate student Nathan J. Mlot, along with Georgia Tech systems-engineering professor Craig Tovey, collected fire ants and dropped them in water to test the ants' acclaimed survival skills.
"They'll gather up all the eggs in the colony and will make their way up through the underground network of tunnels, and when the flood waters rise above the ground, they'll link up together in these massive rafts," Mlot said.
In under two minutes, the insects spread across the water's surface, joining together to form a single drowning-resistant unit. Even the ants at the bottom survive by using their tiny body hairs to form a thin layer of air.
The findings are published in the April 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.