National Snail Day Date in the current year: May 29, 2024

National Snail Day National Snail Day is a fun holiday observed annually on May 29. It was created to celebrate amazing creatures that might seem insignificant, but they are an important part of the ecosystem.

Snails are shelled mollusks in the class Gastropoda, which also includes slugs. When used in its most general sense, the word “snail” applies to three large groups of gastropods with visible external shells: land snails, sea snails, and freshwater snails. In a more narrow sense, the word “snail” applies to land snails, which are more familiar to laymen even though it is sea snails that make up the majority of snail species.

Snails are very diverse and can be found in a wide range of environments, from ditches to the abyssal zone of the ocean where there is no light and no oxygen-producing plants. Some snails have lungs, and some have gills; what is interesting is that numerous freshwater snails and a few marine snail species have lungs, and a few species of land snails have gills.

Many snails are herbivores and feed on plants or algae, but a few land species and many marine species are omnivores or even predators. The diet of snails that are not exclusively herbivorous may include lichens, fungi, insects, carrion, animal feces, and even slugs and other snails.

One of the most fascinating facts about land snails is that most land snail species are hermaphrodites: they have two full sets of reproductive organs, one for each sex, and produce both ova and sperm. During mating, each snail can have a defined sexual role, acting as either male or female, or both snails can act as females and males at the same time.

Another interesting thing about land snails is that their shells have dextral (right-handed) coiling, with the spiral proceeding in a clockwise direction from the apex to the opening. Snails with sinister (left-handed) shell coiling exist, but they are very rare. One of the most famous left-coiled snails was Jeremy, a garden snail that was found in London and studied by scientists at the University of Nottingham.

Land snails, like many other species, have a complex relationship with humans. On the one hand, they are common garden and agricultural pests. They can also transmit parasitic diseases, some of which are quite dangerous for humans. On the other hand, some snail species are edible and are considered a delicacy, and some can be kept as household pets. In addition, snail mucus (slime) is a popular skincare ingredient due to its moisturizing and regenerative properties.

It is unclear who came up with the idea of observing National Snail Day, but there is no doubt that these amazing creatures deserve our appreciation. You can celebrate the holiday by learning interesting facts about snails and sharing them with everyone who is willing to listen, getting a pet snail (of course after doing research to make sure you can give it the best life), or even eating snails.

National Snail Day should not be confused with National Escargot Day. The latter is celebrated on May 24; it is dedicated to edible land snails that are popular in some cuisines around the globe.

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National Snail Day, observances in the United States, environmental observances, unofficial holidays