Ants form floating islands to survive Florence flooding

Ants form living islands to survive Florence flooding

(CNN) – People and pets aren't the only ones trying to reach dry land after Hurricane Florence.

Some ants are doing the same – by forming floating islands.

"As the water level rises, the ants cling to each other, forming a living raft," said Adrian Smith, an ant expert with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Floating in the floodwaters, the islands look like nondescript vegetation, until you notice them moving.

The ants take turns being tops and bottoms, building ultra-tough rafts from their waxy, water-resistant bodies.

People caught up in Florence tweeted images of stinging red ant islands.

"It is ... strangely heartwarming to see a species that sticks together in hard times," an admirer tweeted.

But not everyone's heart was warmed.

"Thank you for a week of nightmares," another person tweeted.

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