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Snail Racing Is An Actual Sport

Snail Racing Is An Actual Sport

There’s an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants (that I’m sure you remember) called “The Great Snail Race,” in which SpongeBob enters Gary into a big race against other snails (or in the case of Patrick’s pet, a rock). It’s a classic gag based on a simple and widely accepted truth: snails are slow, so the thought of them racing would be funny. That said, the World Snail Racing Championship was an actual event that was held in the UK this summer (via Geekologie).

The race went down like this: A group of snails was placed in the middle of a circle, and the first one to reach the edge of the circle 13 inches away won. There were over 200 competitors this year, and in the video above, an unidentified man says of the event’s origins, “Many years ago, an eccentric farmer thought that snail racing would be a funny way to raise money [for the local church], and it has been a remarkable way to raise money. It’s just a fantastic sport.”

How fast does a snail travel? A study from a few years ago revealed that snails travel at about one meter per hour, which equals about .0006 miles per hour. At that rate, it would take about 90 seconds for a snail to travel 13 inches and win the race. Interestingly, snails have also been observed to use the already-produced slime trails of other snails to conserve energy, so drafting is apparently a totally viable strategy in snail racing.

What animals would you like to see race? Share your thoughts down in the comments.

Featured image: YouTube/Ruptly

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