A raft is any flat structure for support or transportation over water. It is the most basic of boat design, characterized by the absence of a hull. Although there are cross-over boat types that blur this definition, rafts are usually kept afloat by using any combination of buoyant materials such as wood, sealed barrels, or inflated air chambers (such as pontoons), and are typically not propelled by an engine.
In what can only be described as an incredible natural engineering feat, fire ants in times of floods have the remarkable ability link up with one another to form a life-saving, floating and impenetrable raft. While this is an attested ability for a long time now, scientists have only recently managed to understand how the [...]