Skip to main content

G is for Geographic Cone Snail.....

Up to this point, all the poisons and toxins I've highlighted have been plant-based or basic periodic elements. Today, I thought we might venture into the realm of the animal kingdom...

...enter the Geographic Cone snail:

There are nearly 500 species of Cone Snails, but the Geographic Cone Snail (whose intricately-patterned shells are coveted by collectors) are by far the most deadly. There is no known anti-venom for the cone snail's toxic sting. Being stung by this reef-dwelling snail from the Indo-Pacific, becomes a battle to outlive the potency of the venom.

It goes without saying that the venom of this fish-eating gastropod must be instant-acting and potent, otherwise their prey would simply swim away to die, leaving the cone snail with no meal and a waste of venom. This species of cone snail has been disturbingly nicknamed the cigarette snail as the quip connected with the snail's toxicity is that a victim would only have the time to smoke a cigarette before the venom took full, deadly effect.

The venom of the cone snail is delivered by a harpoon-like tooth that comes out of an extendable proboscis. And, most human poisonings have been a result of individuals picking up the snail and holding/admiring their intricate shells.

Cone Snail Song

Don't be fooled by my sluggish gait,
I pack a mighty punch.
Just ask that skittish fish over there,
I had his briny uncle for lunch.

                                                                                             --- e.a.s. demers


  1. hmm - obscure but interesting. Nice topic you have chosen for the challenge

    1. Yeah, it's a bit obscure...but, it was hard finding something for the letter "G".... lol

  2. Oh my! As if I wasn't already terrified enough of venomous sea creatures...

    1. I know... and I never imagined a snail would be so venomous...

  3. Odsbodlikins! Now I have to cross reference my list of vacation destinations with cone snail habitat. Got me rethinking this whole snorkeling thing...

    1. LOL... it's scary ain't it?? You can still snorkel, just don't go picking up the pretty snails :-)


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.

The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

S is for Siren.....

Sirens--- the beautiful, the terrifying.
Vicious, but, seemingly opportunistic creatures who lured sailors to their deaths by the sound of their captivating songs. Whether the stories of these creatures were a result of surviving sailors attempting to explain their near-miss in an effort to divert the fault of their shipwreck from their hands, or whether as a warning for those leaving to ensure their fidelity to the women they left behind, is unclear...

Considered the daughters of Achelous(river god), and though they have been blamed for the death of many sailors, they were not, however, sea deities. They have sometimes been called Muses of the lower world, their sad song causing the body and soul of those sailors who hear them to fall into a fatal lethargy.

In early myths, Sirens were the combined form of birds and women. Sometimes with a large female head, their bodies covered in bird feathers, their feet...scaled. Later myths show them as female figures with the legs of birds, tho…