A video has surfaced online showing a group of caterpillars climbing over each other in some sort of formation known as a rolling swarm.
See for your self below:
So why do they do it?
Other than the obvious element of safety in numbers, there is another really ingenious reason why this formation occurs.
The rolling swarm formation means caterpillars can moves faster in the group than any single caterpillar, it’s a real team effort.
It’s prety simple really, but still mind-blowing. It’s a similar concept to walking on those moving belts when you’re at the airport.
If you walked on top of it, you will get to the end quicker, so imagine that but the caterpillars keep re-assembling and disassembling it so it never runs out.
See the video below from the Youtuber Smarter Every Day, who explains it pretty clearly, explaining it with a lego example:
So now you’ve seen it, I hope it makes more sense! Each caterpillar spends time on the floor, at ground level. At this level, the caterpillar moves at a normal speed, and all the ones above it are moving at 2x the speed, as the floor is moving and so are they, at the same time.
The next layer up is moving at 3x speed, due to the same reasoning, It really is another wonder of nature!