Glow-in-the-Dark Snails Make Boring Research Beautiful

A group of researchers from the ecology department at the U.K.'s University of Exeter have been spending time studying how snails transmit a parasite called lungworm to dogs in Great Britain. Ah, my god, how boring. But they made something beautiful out of the project when they attached LEDs to the slow-moving slugs to track their movements at night.

This timelapse video (starting at 2:15) and the GIFs from it are a result of tagging hundreds of snails with both LEDs and UV paint. Watching snails crawling around a British garden at night sounds like the most mind numbing take on a rave ever. Until you throw in a little neon and some video editing.

The research is actually pretty important because lungworm is potentially fatal to dogs. It's not very clear how dogs contract lungworm in the first place, but it is certain they catch it from snails. So we we know a little bit more about what snails are up to (how hard can it be? They're slow ass snails!), we could save our pup pals from an awful ailment, and see something really lovely. [Hungeree via Colossal]


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Lungworms = Yet another reason I'll never try escargot.

Also, are Lungworms only a problem for dogs in the U.K.?