Floating islands of fire ants

A fresh hell for the flooded plains of Texas: Yes, That's a Huge Floating Mass of Live Fire Ants in Texas. (Photo: Brant Kelly / CC BY 2.0)

Sarah Zhang:

"Holy crap. I have never, in my entire career as an ant researcher, seen *anything* like this," tweeted Alex Wild, curator of entomology at University of Texas at Austin, in response to the image below. Of course, Wild told me, it is all perfectly logical. "They actually love floods," says Wild. "It's how they get around." Fire ants displaced by water form rafts; a lot of fire ants displaced by a lot of water will form really big rafts. But still! The sheer size of them is incredible.

Dish soap breaks the surface tension and they sink.