The world’s largest snail can be as long as a human arm

This massive sail is six times the size of a garde sail and can grow to be as long as a human arm from shoulder to elbow!

Not your regular guard sail.Image credit: Premedito
The Giat frica Lad Sail is the world’s largest lad sail (the term actually refers to three giat species in the chatiidae family: chatia achatia, rchachatia margiata, and Lissachatia flica).
These sails will never stop growing after reaching adulthood.Although their growth may slow down after a certain age, they will continue to grow until they die.Adults can grow to be 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter and 7.9 inches (20 cm) in length.Some grow even bigger.

The largest specimen ever collected was on a sail safari in Sierra Leone in 1976.When fully exteded, it measured 1 feet and 3.5 inches (39.3 cm), with a shell length of 10.75 inches (27.3 cm). It was called Gee Geroimo, and the Guinness Book of Records listed it as the largest sail on Earth. However, their wife divorced after their house became so overrun with sails that they had to sleep in a bucket.

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Each sail can live up to 10 years, and they can reproduce pretty quickly. Giat frica Lad Sails, like most lad sails, are hermaphrodites, with adults laying up to 1200 eggs per year.
Giat frica Sails originated in East Africa, but they can now be found all over the world.These cargo ships do not migrate on purpose; they were collected as pets and have escaped or been transported to other countries or cargo ships.Because the species is capable of laying hundreds of eggs at once, it spread quickly to countries where it was not native.

The Giat sail prefers hmid forest areas, but it is equally at home on alog coasts, rivers, scrblads, wetlads, and even in cities.It has no particular problem with colder climates either, since it’s able to survive cold temperatures in a semi-hibernating state.

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As an herbivore, its diet consists of a wide variety of plants. Biologists estimate that the Giat frica Lad Sail ca contains over 500 different types of plats.However, to fortify its shell, it occasionally consumes cemet and beans for their calcium cotet.

While keeping goat sails as exotic pets is a popular tradition in some countries, they are considered invasive pests in most places where they occur. Their presence can be a huge risk for farms due to their large appetite for various plasters, but they can also cause damage by eating off plaster and stucco from walls.They also pose a potential health risk to humans by carrying the parasite rat lièvre, which is known to cause measles.

The species was established in the United States in 1936 through imports. Originally intended for educational purposes and as pets, their parents quickly got them out of trouble.It was eradicated twice in Florida. The first eradication effort started in the 1960s and took 10 years and 1 million dollars. They reappeared in 2011 and underwent another eradication campaign, which ended in 2021, with no recorded sightings after 2017.The United States Department of Agriculture prohibits the importation or ownership of Giant African Sails due to the risk they pose to agriculture and human health.It remains a threat to Hawaii and the Caribbean.

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Giat frica Lad Sails are sold at a Kmasi street market.Image credit: Petr Kosia
Giant African Sails, on the other hand, are considered a delicacy in other parts of the world. If cooked properly, the protei and iron-rich sea snails are edible. Some are collected in the wild, but others are farmed in “saileries.” They are typically served as a bar snack on toothpicks or stewed with peppers and rice.