Technology

Meet A Very Strange And Completely Awesome Creature That Lurks In The Deep

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Below the surface of the Indian Ocean lie. These vents, warmed by the World”s magma, erupt in inky black jets, and usually looks like inhospitable areas to call house.

That’s, unless you”re the Chrysomallon squamiferum, or scaly foot gastropod. These snails have developed several fairly crazy adaptations for living in this type of location, and locate this part of the world rather comfy.

Meet with the scaly foot gastropod. Yes, it”s trendy, but its exceptional features are also incredibly useful in its brutal surroundings.

Meet the scaly-foot gastropod. Yes, it

It doesn”t only have a shell, for example — this creature”s shell is covered in a layer of iron. And those fringy touches on the remainder of its body? Those are tough, mineralized scales made of iron sulphides. This creature is actually wearing armour, and is the only creature on earth now understood to use iron in this way.

Their shells are mostly covered in pyrite, often called “idiot”s gold,” and greigite, which is magnetic. The metals inside their bodies come from the vents, which are mineral-rich, spewing upward metals and sulphides from the inside of the Earth. These armored layers of the snail”s shell function as defense from predators, and can in fact damage the claws of an attacker. The truth is, it”s so powerful that the U.S. military has been examining the snail, looking for inspiration for new armour layouts for soldiers.

Here it’s in all its scaly-footed glory.

Here it is in all its scaly-footed glory.

It”s kind of like a miniature tank. The small pink protrusions are its face.

It

“What are you lookin” at?”

"What are you lookin

The scaly foot gastropod was found at a depth of more than two kilometers in the Indian Ocean in 2001. There are really two varieties of these snails living in hydrothermal vent areas that are distinct. In the Kairei field, the snails are not white and iron -rich, and are really magnetic consequently. In the Solitaire field, the snails are and lack iron white, lacking magnetic properties.

They”re also extremely great climbers.

They

Because it’s iron incorporated into its body, the scaly foot is magnetic!

Because it has iron integrated into its body, the scaly-foot gastropod is magnetic!

Yes, those are magnets. The snail looks a bit perplexed by this.

(via Amusing Planet, More than a Dodo, Wikipedia)

Though it”s been understood for over a decade, the scaly foot gastropod was eventually given an official, scientific name: Chrysomallon squamiferum. Now, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History has five specimens of snails that they”ll use for research and instruction, and, we can just presume, adhering miniature magnets on for interesting.

If you enjoy these little men, you may also buy a scaly-foot keychain of your very own from this artist and snail enthusiast”s online shop.

For more weird creatures of the deep, check these guys out:

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