Today In Florida: Ginormous, Rat-Sized Snails Invade

The state of Florida continues to prove that end times are nigh with an infestation of giant African land snails.

This species of snail is a very special one that can grow as large as a rat and subsist on stucco and plaster to keep their shells healthy. (That means they will be devouring Floridians’ homes.) A typical African land snail produces about 1,200 eggs a year, which means that lots more are on the way. AND — added bonus! –they carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis. (Try to stifle your cheers.)

“They’re huge, they move around, they look like they’re looking at you … communicating with you, and people enjoy them for that. But they don’t realize the devastation they can create if they are released into the environment where they don’t have any natural enemies and they thrive,” said a spokesman for Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

According to FDACS, more than 100,000 of these special snails have been caught in South Florida since 2011. I think that counts as an invasion. Heck, that counts as a plague. They look at you like they’re communicating with you? I am absolutely horrified right now. The best we can hope for is that all the African land snails population will fall into one of Florida’s sinkholes and disappear forever. [Reuters]