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




Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Delete

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…

I is for...

... Iron Maiden


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe


---and not the English heavy metal band from East London...

Day 2 in the realm of morbid/macabre torture devices finds us back in the Middle Ages (there was definitely a fashionable trend of imaginative torture devices during this time). Though, the Middle Ages isn't really when we should be turning our attention when we discuss the Iron Maiden. In fact, there has been some debate as to the exact appearance of this monstrous creation.

It's probably easiest to relocate such a torturous thing back to a time when it seemed everyone was as skilled at exacting a confession as they were at creating the tools to exact those confessions. It's easier to blame ancestors from several hundred years ago than to accept that anyone of civilized disposition would be capable of doing such horrible things with such terrif…

V is for...

... Vrolik Museum



The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe




How about a morbid museum?

Still used by the medical faculty and students at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrolik Museum is a unique collection of odd bones and skulls, pathogenic specimens, and an assortment of anomalous embryos.

The collection was amassed by Dutch anatomist, Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and continued by his son, Dutch anatomist and pathologist, Willem Vrolik (1801-1863). And since Willem's death, various donations have expanded the collection even further. Most specimens are human, though a few zoological specimens have trickled into the collection. Preserved remains, plaster casts, and various models show an assortment of congenital deformities and malformations.

This is one of those places that isn't for the faint of heart---certainly not for those who are easily moved or triggered by…