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Friday, November 10, 2006

The Next Sci-Fi Channel Movie of the Week

Giant Ravenous Snails Invade Island of Barbados
(And no, I'm not making this up)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Nov. 9) - Ravenous giant snails that emerge from the ground by night are thriving on the tropical island of Barbados, destroying crops and prompting calls for the government to eliminate them.
A nocturnal survey last weekend found hundreds of thousands of African snails - which are often about the size of a human hand - swarming the central parish of St. George, the country's agricultural heartland, where farmers complained of damage to sugar cane, bananas, papayas and other crops.
"We saw snails riding on each other's backs and moving in clusters," said David Walrond, chairman of the local emergency response office that organized 60 volunteers for the expedition. "You're just crunching the shells as you're walking through."

Amazingly, these African snails didn't arrive in Barbados until 2000, when one hitched a ride on a cargo ship. Actually, there's enough fodder for a few Sci-Fi Channel movies here: The chairman of the local emergency response office said the snails can lead to an increase in the populations of rats, which prey on the fast-multiplying creatures, and mosquitoes, which breed in water that collects in shells of dead snails.

So, I'm thinking the first movie will be called "OOZE!" and it will be followed by "SQUEAK!" and then "MOSQUITO HOLOCAUST!"

What does this have to do with natural resources? Not much, though maybe it's time to buy butter for escargot. It's just that I like weird science, and it's Friday.

Also, how soon before some of my co-workers blame this on the new Democratic majority in Congress (LOL!)?
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