The bizarre physics of fire ants

Duration: 3 minutes and 59 seconds
Published: July 25, 2017
Definition: HD
Views: 1.72 million
Channel: Vox
vox.com vox explain explainer fire ants observatory Joss Fong Georgia Tech David Hu ants solenopsis invicta Atlanta red imported fire ants flood robotics technology float raft ant raft material solid fluid swarm
They're not just an animal, they're a material. And that's got engineers interested.


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For more information about the Hu lab: http://www.hu.gatech.edu/

Red imported fire ants (solenopsis invicta) are native to South America and an invasive species in the United States. One of the adaptations that makes them so hardy is that they can build large structures by linking their bodies together. This is how they form rafts that can float during floods. When they're aggregated together, fire ants can be seen as a material and the Hu lab at Georgia Tech has been testing that material for years.


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