Fire ants are forming dangerous floating islands after Hurricane Florence

Screenshots: Twitter / @GadiNBC / @LaurelCoons
Screenshots: Twitter / @GadiNBC / @LaurelCoons

The impact of Hurricane Florence has been horrific.

More than 40 victims have been killed by the ruthless storm, whereas thousands more have seen their property and possessions damaged by severe floods. Power outages have become a frequent occurrence, and the hurricane is even thought to have damaged the US economy.

Citizens across the eastern coastline of America have been doing all they can to protect themselves from the storm, but these fire ants have managed to adapt naturally by clustering together and forming floating islands to sail across floodwaters.

The rare phenomenon was captured on camera by NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz, who shared the videos to his Twitter account.

The small, buoyant masses might be impressive to look at, but they can also be hugely dangerous.

Fire ants are known to pack a mean sting, posing a potential threat to anyone that might mistake them for a raft and attempt to latch on.

Their behaviour has been documented after past hurricanes such as Harvey and Katrina, and their impact has been occasionally lethal: although they're known to be aggressive, their sting usually provokes a burning, itchy reaction, but in rare cases involving allergic reactions the fire ants have been known to kill.

Schwartz isn't the only person to have seen them in person; other Twitter users have shared other videos of their own.

Hurricane Florence may have been downgraded, but it's clear that some of its more dangerous consequences will be lingering for a while.

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