Floating ant mounds: A survival skill to escape the flooding

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SOMERVILLE, Ala. - This is the kind of story that will make your skin crawl.

In the midst of the heavy rainfall on Christmas Day, Allen Matthews made an interesting and disturbing discovery.  Several floating ant mounds appeared in his Somerville backyard.

“It looks like a pile of dirt," he said in the video he recorded and sent to us.  "When you get close, you see  (pause)... they’re moving.  And, it’s a pile of ants – millions and millions of ants.”

We wanted to know more about this fire ant phenomenon.  So, we did what any inquisitive person would do.  Googled it.

That's when we learned that this is apparently an ant survival skill.

Our Google search yielded a USA Today article about the ant anomaly following massive flooding in South Carolina earlier this year.

USA Today interviewed Tim Davis, an entomologist who is also an extension agent from Clemson University.  He said the ants kind of grab a hold of each other and assemble an island.

He explained that they can do this for several days until they reach higher ground.

One word of caution though... these are likely fire ants, the South's despised annoyance.  If you come across these ant rafts, you don’t want to mess around with them because they just might get you back with their sting.