Ant Islands

@Rollo1 (16685)
Boston, Massachusetts
October 6, 2015 9:05pm CST
You may have heard about the recent flooding in South Carolina. The hurricane tracked out to sea but a separate storm dumped rain that has been called a "once in a thousand years" event. Apparently, fire ants have their own methods of dealing with the sudden flooding. Thousands of ants intertwine their bodies and form a floating island of ants. The ants are then saved from the flood by floating on the surface of the water. They can keep the island afloat for weeks. Nature is endlessy inventive.
A FOX Carolina reporter witnessed an unusual sight while covering flood conditions in Greenville County, S.C. Sunday – an island of ants floating on the surface of the water.
21 people like this
21 responses
@valmnz (13168)
• New Zealand
7 Oct 15
I've always had a lot of respect for ants, even though they aren't welcome in my home.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
Ants have developed some interesting survival techniques, but I can imagine many would be happy enough without fire ants surviving at all.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (187768)
• Switzerland
7 Oct 15
It is incredible that the same "once in a thousand years" event happened also on the French Riviera. It is incredible to see what animals can do to survive. It's hard to get rid of fire ants.
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
It's no wonder that ants are one of the more successful species on the planet. They know how to work to survive.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (187768)
• Switzerland
7 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Because they know how to make a good team.
@Dragonairy1 (1413)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
7 Oct 15
That's pretty amazing, I love how they all work together to survive.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
It's amazing, yet it only works because they have no individual will.
1 person likes this
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
7 Oct 15
@Rollo1 That sounds less exciting, it makes them more like mini robots.
• Canada
7 Oct 15
What an amazing story! Ants have things to teach us.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
I am not sure about teaching us. Ant duties are pretty much programmed in. They survive, but there will be some at the bottom who will drown.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Oct 15
@Rollo1 I guess what I meant is they often act as a whole to ensure survival as a group. Individuals sacrifice their lives so the group can survive. When I think of the way even in the face of global warming human individuals keep thinking and acting in selfish ways, it unsettles me (and that's an understatement). I don't think any of us should decide who, if any of us, will drown, but if we are all to try to think of our own needs and greeds first without considering the group as a whole, no one will survive, or if they do, won't find it worth surviving. Of course, we are not ants. We have our own strengths and weaknesses as people.
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
7 Oct 15
those creep me out, esp the fire ant ones you see now and then.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
I have never seen one of these. We have red ants but I don't think they are fire ants.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
7 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Now that i think about it, that was on macgyver, I wonder if it's really a thing. lol
@Juliaacv (35158)
• Canada
7 Oct 15
I have heard a lot about the flooding, but this is the first that I have heard of the floating ant islands. It is so sad to see so much water for those people.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
It was very sudden, which makes it even harder for people to prepare or evacuate.
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (35158)
• Canada
7 Oct 15
@Rollo1 We had a spring thaw that came one quickly one year. It caused an ice jam on the river, and we lived a few miles away from the river and actually where it jammed. The water was everywhere, it actually poured into our basement windows, our deep freezer began to float, and when the lid swung open, it quickly filled with water and sunk. My parents had just purchased a side of beef. We were evacuated and I can never forget that terrible incident.
@OneOfMany (12392)
• United States
7 Oct 15
Just don't try to contact the inhabitants of those islands!
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
Without a professor to make a radio out of coconuts, they're doomed any way.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (12392)
• United States
7 Oct 15
@Rollo1 I remember watching that show from time to time, and there were many visitors to that island that came and went while leaving everyone there. The big joke was that they were able to construct all that fancy stuff, and practically make nuclear fission out of the materials there, but couldn't build a boat...
@sofssu (17988)
7 Oct 15
Wow nature has a way of defending itself from self destruction. Great information.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
I guess that is why that no matter how many ants you step on, there are still billions of them.
@Asylum (48215)
• Manchester, England
7 Oct 15
This has been shown on documentaries many times, but I was only aware of them using the system to cross a river and not to stay that way for weeks.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
With the amount of flooding, they will have to stay that way for some few days anyway.
@cahaya1983 (10036)
• Malaysia
7 Oct 15
Wow. Those ants can be pretty nasty but to witness a sight like that...coolness!
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
I know, you don't necessarily want to see fire ants survive, but I guess they want to survive quite a lot.
1 person likes this
@glenniah (1201)
• Mandurah, Australia
7 Oct 15
Ants do seem to be very busy and productive and work well as a team.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
They are all programmed like the borg.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (72272)
• Roseburg, Oregon
7 Oct 15
Ants are pretty smart and they all work together for the survival of all.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 15
I guess when you are that tiny, there is only strength in numbers.
1 person likes this
@KristenH (25305)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
7 Oct 15
This is real interesting to know about how ants can save that island by floating in water. Really mind-boggling with nature's latest gifts.
• United States
7 Oct 15
that certainly is amazing
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (27430)
• United States
7 Oct 15
Wow, that is incredible.
1 person likes this
@gudheart (12740)
7 Oct 15
That is pretty amazing! survival instinct in ants :D
1 person likes this
@bluesa (15223)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
7 Oct 15
That is quite awesome. They figured out how to survive a flood when many times it destroys everything in its path.
1 person likes this
@marlina (80503)
• Canada
7 Oct 15
That's a pretty interesting bit of info on the ants.
1 person likes this
@Ceerios (4752)
• Goodfellow, Texas
11 Jun 16
@Rollo1 - Howdy Anja - Oh yes. Plenty of those "fire ant islands" around here in the flood waters.
@wiLLmaH (8246)
• Singapore, Singapore
8 Oct 15
Ants are really a smart creature. :)