Side Note

The government has a Flickr album devoted to giant killer snails

One of my hobbies is finding strange shit that government agencies put online. This is not normal, and if you are a young person, please do not read this post and decide spend your time similarly. There are many other, better things you could be doing, such as going outside, talking to other humans, and stealing rich people’s trash. But it is what I do when I’m bored, and so here we are.

A couple weeks ago, the USDA documented Puerto Rico’s post-Harvey recovery on Flickr, posting images of disaster clean-up sites, health clinics, and water distribution efforts. Also, they checked in on San Juan’s population of Giant African Snails.

Before we go any further, I need you to get a sense of how truly giant the Giant African Snail is. LOOK AT THESE GODDAMN BIG-ASS SNAILS:

Now that we all have visual confirmation that scientists weren’t fucking around when they decided to call it the Giant African Snail, it’s time to find out about how the Giant African Snail is the worst snail. “Scientists consider [them] to be one of the most damaging land snails in the world,” warns a 2011 USDA pest alert. “It is known to eat at least 500 different types of plants,” the alert, uh, alerts, adding that, “If fruits and vegetables are not available, the snails will eat a wide variety of ornamental plants, tree bark, and even paint and stucco on houses.” Oh, and on top of that, Giant African Snails “are also known to carry organisms that can cause disease in humans.”

OK, time to look at the snails again.

If you’re interested in more gross USDA Flickr albums, the agency’s Puerto Rico survey also yielded a bunch of photos of tiny slugs who, too, are capable of killing you.