Fire ants link together to form a living, unsinkable raft during floods

Scientists in Georgia have filmed incredible video showing how South American fire ants link together to form living-life rafts and avoid mass drownings in their natural rain forest habitat.

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.

Via and

One thought on “Fire ants link together to form a living, unsinkable raft during floods

  • November 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    When i was a child my grandparents lived in Louisiana. My family and I went to visit them after a recent flood. When we arrived there was still about a foot of water on the ground. We went to see the extent of the damage on the house. We got out of the vehicle and i looked to the side and saw a mound of ants floating on top of the water. It still makes me itch to this day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *