Twitter | @@whatmaddness

Invasive Giant African Land Snails Are Almost The Size Of A Human Head

Amy Pilkington 15 May 2020

I was never a nature kid. Caterpillars, worms, beetles, if it was outside, I wasn't interested. For some reason, though, I did find snails fascinating.

Something about the swirl of their shells just spoke to me, I guess. Even now, I have as many snails as fish in my home aquarium.

Still, my natural indoor girl-ness always found their sliminess to be a bit off-putting.

And once they get big, snails lose their cute appeal for me.

Instagram | @elora_penny

So to say that I'm not okay with the knowledge that Giant African Land Snails exist may be an understatement.

When snails get that big, they start to reach alien territory.

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There is a schlocky B-movie somewhere with an aging teen heartthrob battling these things.

Instagram | @simon_thesnail

On average, they are 7 cm (2.76 in) in height, by 20 cm (7.87 in) in length, or for context, almost the size of a human head.

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I'm sure there are people out there that think they'd make a good pet, but please don't.

Instagram | @lfgodinho.photography

Giant African Land Snails are actually a severely invasive species. Though native to Tanzania and Kenya, they have begun populating the United States and other countries due to the blackmarket pet trade and accidental release.

They are so invasive that they are banned entirely in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

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These snails are highly destructive, from killing off native species, to spreading crop-destroying pathogens, and even breaking apart stucco walls.

They are also a common carrier of a parasitic nematode that can infect humans and cause a very case of serious meningitis. Just handling one in the wild can result in infection.

So if you're a fan, maybe just appreciate them in photographs. Me? I'm happy to keep my distance.

h/t: The Open Mind, ADW

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