Apparently humans have found another debatably cruel use for snails beyond escargot. A Russian waterworks company is using six Giant African snails to monitor pollution released from a sewage incinerator.
The incinerator is located on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg – it is one of the biggest sewage treatment facilities in the country. The snails have been fitted with heart monitors, and the plan is for the snails to breathe in the plant’s smoke, and then have their readings compared to a control group.
This particular type of snail was chosen because, according to the Vodokanal state utilities company, “they have lungs and breathe air like humans.”