Fire ants survive in the rising floodwaters in the wake of hurricane Harvey

Fire ants, known for their very painful bites which sting like crazy and causes victims to feel like the wounds are burning, have emerged in the waters of hurricane Harvey.
Fire ants, known for their very painful bites which sting like crazy and causes victims to feel like the wounds are burning, have emerged in the waters of hurricane Harvey.PHOTO: TWITTER/ROBERTJUNIORJR

HOUSTON - Fire ants, known for their very painful bites which sting like crazy and causes victims to feel like the wounds are burning, have emerged in the waters of hurricane Harvey.

Social media is abuzz with sightings of the colonies floating in clusters in the floodwaters.

The species apparently possesses an incredible survival mechanism. According to Huffington Post, each fire ant is slightly water resistant.

When caught in a big body of water, ant colonies work together by joining up and forming a bigger waterproof raft, helping them stay afloat and survive rising waters, which has happened in Houston.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology specialist Mike Merchant told Huffington Post the colonies "keep the queen and other members of the colony in the middle of the ball dry so they don't suffocate."

The ants constantly switch positions as they float along, to prevent drowning.

Social media has been both shocked and awed by this phenomenon, with Twitter users such as @RobertJuniorJr wondering why the devastating hurricane could not at least kill the ants.