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Massive Blobs Of Floating Fire Ants Are Taking Over Flooded Parts Of Texas

Hurricane Harvey has displaced thousands of people in southern Texas, causing extensive flooding throughout the region. While reports of a shark swimming in the flood have been thoroughly debunked, there is danger lurking in the flood waters: huge rafts of fire ants:

How many ants are out there? Here’s just one photo of a massive raft:

While the ants are in survival mode in their rafts, if they hit a dry obstacle — such as a person — they will go into attack mode:

“So if it’s a house that they hit and there are people on the roof stranded, they will go up there as well because that’s them trying to escape the flood waters.” If you’re wading around flood waters and run into a raft of 100,000 fire ants, your day will get considerably more complicated. The ants will board you and sting and not let go, even if you submerge.

[WIRED

If you’re curious about the physics behind the rafts (it’s really interesting), Vox did a great explainer:

 

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