Snails Can Sleep For Three Years

Posted By Kearth on Apr 16, 2018

I heard from someone the other day that snails can sleep for three years.

That’s three YEARS. Not three days. Not three weeks or months. Three YEARS.


I doubted that person and decided to see for myself, so I followed a snail.

Now, here’s the thing—Where does a snail sleep? It carries its house on its back, right? I don’t know if that is true, but I heard it from someone the other day.

I doubted that person and decided to see for myself, so I snuck up on the snail I was following to check.

Here’s another thing—snails are slow. Painfully slow. Slow-like-nothing-else slow. Slow like moving backwards slow. Slow. Slower. Slowest. Following a snail means falling asleep from boredom frequently, and then waking up to find that the snail still has not moved. Well, it has moved, but not really, because when you have your nose up to a snail in the morning and then fall asleep and wake up that night and the only real movement has been the sleepytime drool from the side of your mouth but the snail has not moved more than the width of your nose, I don’t call that moving. Do you?

Anyway, I watched the snail move-not-move for 3 days and decided that was enough. I couldn’t take any more. But then—all of a sudden, in snail terms—something happened. The snail really stopped moving. Stopped. Completely stopped. It didn’t move a little…it just stopped moving at all. Ha ha—I laughed—it must be asleep. So, since I was conveniently there I decided to make sure it absolutely was asleep and then check to see if it really did carry its house on its back, which would at least answer one of the pressing questions I had.

I forced myself to stay awake and watch it most of the day to make sure, and it wasn’t moving. I think I may have possibly heard a little, bitty, tiny, itsy, tiny, little, tiny snore. I carefully picked up the snail. I slowly lifted it up to my good eye. I turned it upside-down to try and look into its shell to see if I could see any furniture or clothes or anything you usually find in someone’s (or something’s) house. I didn’t see any. I turned it ever-so-slowly right-side-up and then gently but forcefully shook it to see if anything like a tea kettle or pair of snail slippers would fall out, but they didn’t.

I realized then that I must have woken up the sleepyhead snail because it started moving again, and when I set it down gingerly, it moved forward, if you can call that moving.

I, myself, moved on, but learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes you just have to let unanswered questions remain unanswered. And snail ponderings are no exception.


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