News Article

News Article

Inside This Pretty Seashell Lives a Horrifying Death Machine

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If you've spent time at the beach, you may have seen the abandoned shells of cone snails, many of which look like naturally-formed works of art (they're often polished and turned into jewelry). But if you ever see a live one, we strongly advise against picking it up... because that innocent-looking exterior houses a venomous, carnivorous predator.
 
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The venom of the cone snail is a powerful neurotoxin, which can paralyze a fish many times its size, and there have been over a dozen confirmed reports of humans being killed by the larger species (which can grow to over six inches long). Most species are non-lethal to humans, but their sting can still do some serious damage.
 
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But that's just part of the horror... at least if you're small enough to fit in this thing's mouth. When the snail zaps a fish with an organic harpoon full of the toxin, it undergoes a horrifying transformation, morphing its body into a giant vacuum of death... as you can see in the video below from National Geographic:
 
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