Life Lines

Snail Surfing

If you look up snail surfing on YouTube, you come up with some fun videos of snails riding leaves:

Or floating in pairs:

But there are no videos showing snails surfing by making rafts out of bubbles…at least that I could find. The violet snail (Janthina exigua), creates these rafts not only for floating, but also to store eggs and as platforms for young snails. They create these bubbles from a mucus that they secrete from their feet-muscular organs. The consistency of the bubble rafts is similar to bubble wrap. To find out how these snails evolved this peculiar habit, and to see more pictures, you can read this neat article recently published on National Geographic Daily News.

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Image Source: National Geographic Daily News

So, if you can’t find a life jacket, maybe bubble wrap will do?