Absurd Creature of the Week: The Badass Snail That Has a Shell Made of Iron
In what is arguably the most famous scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur faces the Black Knight, relieving him of his limbs even though he’s wearing some nice chain mail. But there’s a Black Knight in the depths of the Indian Ocean whose armor doesn’t yield to blows quite so easily.
I present to you the scaly-foot snail, which has evolved a shell made of iron sulfide. I’ll repeat that: It builds a shell out of iron. On top of this, the squishy part that protrudes out of the shell, known as the foot, is covered with iron plates, making the scaly-foot snail more metal than Ozzy Osbourne wrapped in tin foil. And it’s all thanks to bacteria, which seem to be building the armor. No other animal on Earth can utilize iron this way. The thing is magnetic, for Pete’s sake.