Science & Tech

Man shows off 'cool' snail he's found – unaware it could kill him in an instant

Man shows off 'cool' snail he's found – unaware it could kill him in an instant
Unsuspecting Kid Picks Up Deadly Cone Snail at Beach

Think of a snail and you’ll most likely picture a dull, brown pest, feasting on your old neighbour’s lettuces or creeping lazily up your front door.

Whereas, in actual fact, they are one of the deadliest animals to humans on earth.

Obviously, not the kind you get in UK gardens, but freshwater snails. This is because they harbour dead parasites, most notably parasitic flatworms known as flukes.

Indeed, a terrible disease transmitted by flukes, and known as “snail fever”, causes as many as 200,000 deaths a year, according to research published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000.

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And yet, these freshwater menaces aren’t the only grim reapers of the mollusc family – cone snails can administer a venom that’s so toxic, it can kill up to 700 people.

The problem is, it doesn’t look like your typical sea predator: no glistening set of razor-sharp teeth, and no tell-tale fin.

Instead, its lethal sting is concealed within its sleek brown and white patterned shell, and shoots out like a harpoon when its prey is near.

This means that to the unsuspecting onlooker, the cone is just a pretty little beach ornament.

And this is precisely what one Reddit user's parents thought when they chanced upon one while on holiday.

The Redditor shared a video to the platform, presumably sent to him by his mum and dad, which he captioned: “Parents wanted to show the cool snail they found while on a vacation to Egypt."

Commentators were quick to point out the identity of the deceptively deadly creature.

“I saw these in a nature doc once and they have forever haunted my dreams since,” one wrote.

“I struggled to keep my eyes on the video because I thought for sure it would start sticking its barb out when they messed with it,” admitted another.

“Very patient snail,” added a third. “They're even sticking their fingers in its house and everything. Could've ended them.”

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