Ant Raft, or Body-surfing Re-imagined

Ant Raft, or Body-surfing Re-imagined

Sunday, August 5, 2012
| Ephesians 4:1-16

Fire ants hit by a flash flood will grab, claw and bite eat other to form a raft to save themselves.

Bodysurfing. Almost anyone braving the breakers has tried it at some point. The concept is simple -- instead of riding waves using a surfboard or Boogie-board, a person surfs on his or her own body. Line up in front of a big enough wave, take off swimming, and that wave will pick you up and surf you along its crest.

A great ride and a real rush -- if you can handle the crushing turbulence and foam at the end of the line.

Not only humans have been spotted bodysurfing. Recent scientific research has shown that fire ants are actually saving their own lives by ... bodysurfing.

Yes, fire ants. And yes, bodysurfing -- of sorts.

These painful pests have developed a stunning way to survive huge rains that flood their colonies -- common occurrences in the American South or their native Brazil. They'll link together and assemble into flat waterproof rafts that float atop the flood waters.

The disc-shaped rafts are actually water-repellent due to the interlocking pattern between the ants. Some ants...


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