News from the Natural World: Man with a head full of molluscs lives life at a snails pace.
An Italian human by the name of Gastro Poda has been living his life at an alarmingly slow pace due to a bizarre and totally unbelievable incident. Dr Poda is a Malacologist, he studies molluscs for a living. Ever since he was a human child he had been passionate about molluscs and delighted in studying them. His favourite mollusc was the snail and he grew absolutely fascinated with these slow moving, house carrying critters. But Dr Poda discovered that snails were facing unprecedented challenges in the wild.
The IUCN had listed 581 species of mollusc as being critically endangered. In addition that list included 117 species which were listed as possibly extinct. Furthermore, at least 8% of all canvassed mollusc species fell into the critically endangered category. For one particular snail its fate was even worse than the others. George, a Hawaiian Tree Snail was the worlds loneliest snail. He was the last known surviving member of his species, Achatinella apexfulva, the last snail of his species left alive and alone with Mother Earth. He died on New Year’s Day, 2019.
Man with head full of molluscs
Dr Gastro Poda was distraught, he knew how important molluscs were. Snails in particular have considerable human relevance, including as pests, food items and also act as vectors of disease. They also have come to be celebrated as a symbol of patience and entered the popular lexicon as an anthropomorphic example of taking things slow. This has become a popular human metaphor, it is said someone who is slow moving is “as slow as a snail”.