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Luminous Snail Paint   (+9, -1)  [vote for, against]
Avoid the crunch.

Few things make my soul sink quicker than the irreversable crunch of an occupied snail shell beneath my clumsy feet. For some suicidal reason they tend to wait right outside my front door in the dark (who knew a snail's life could be so bad?)

A little luminous snail paint would stop me from treading on them and killing them.

I'm personally planning on writing letters on each of mine, hoping that one day they'll congregate to form a half baked idea, in the spirit of infinate monkeys and infinate typewriters.
-- Fishrat, Jun 06 2012

Snail_20Koans all you have to do is teach them to spell "please don't step on me or my friends" [xenzag, Jun 06 2012]

Baked by evolution http://en.wikipedia...ki/Quantula_striata
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 11 2012]

Forced evolution of intelligent gastropods. http://www.news.com...rfro0-1226393927024
[AusCan531, Jun 12 2012]

ooh. I likes the visuals. http://myintrepidad...n-land-animals.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 12 2012]

Tiny solar cells, capacitors and LEDs with a self-adhesive backing would be even more beautiful.
-- pocmloc, Jun 06 2012


Breed snails that leave trails of phosphorescent slime?
-- 8th of 7, Jun 06 2012


//Tiny solar cells//

It might work like lemons. If you hammer two electrodes into the snail you might be able to power the LED directly.
-- bigsleep, Jun 06 2012


SOPRSOS* might be interested in the glow-in-the-dark aspect.

(Society of Painting Racing Stripes on Snails)
-- FlyingToaster, Jun 06 2012


Alternatively, paint your doorstep with luminous paint and avoid stepping on the dark bits.
-- DrBob, Jun 07 2012


The pop they make as they go under a bike tyre is less tactile, but just as disturbing.

I'd definitely agree with extending [DrBob]'s idea to cycle paths, particularly the off-road ones.
-- Wrongfellow, Jun 07 2012


Much as I like the concept of luminescent snails, can't you just sprinkle some salt on your step to keep them away?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 07 2012


Perhaps you should exterminate your local snail population, and replace them with naturally bioluminescent ones <link>?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 11 2012


I'd like gengineered snails that leave luminous snail trails.

Just 'cause.
-- Alterother, Jun 11 2012


There's a freshwater shellfish that lives in New Zealand that is bioluminescent. I've seen them and wondered how it can possibly be to their benefit to glow in the dark.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 12 2012


Glowing in the daylight doesn't make much sense.
-- AusCan531, Jun 12 2012


Being a small, brightly lit snail in a river where the fish eat snails is equally unusual, as a survival strategy. It's a type of limpet, so mollusc. In any case... drawing attention to your suitability as dinner seems odd.

They're not just bioluminescent but phosphorescent, as well; and less than a 1/2 inch across.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 12 2012


Very good. May all your paths be walled with loaded snail brushes.
-- wjt, Jun 12 2012


// There's a freshwater shellfish that lives in New Zealand that is bioluminescent//

Maybe they swam there from Mururoa Atoll (invented by the French)
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 12 2012


//There's a freshwater shellfish that lives in New Zealand that is bioluminescent. I've seen them and wondered how it can possibly be to their benefit to glow in the dark.//

Are they poisonous to the fish? It might be a warning in the same way as wasps and snakes are brightly coloured. luminescence might be a better signal in their environment.

Alternatively, it might be down to sexual selection. Such can lead to the evolution of 'honest signals'. Basically if a creature can survive well in spite of an impediment then it can be presumed to have good genes. Generally this is associated with sexual dimorphism - a drably coloured 'choosy' gender, and a gaily coloured (or long-tailed... whatever - or for this case luminescent) 'chosen' gender.
Since snails are often hermaphrodites, it could be that every member of the species fluoresces. I'm unaware of whether there are any known cases of sexually selected traits in hermaphroditic species, but I can't think of any theoretical reason why it wouldn't work.
-- Loris, Jun 12 2012


[UB] //There's a freshwater shellfish that lives in New Zealand that is bioluminescent. I've seen them and wondered how it can possibly be to their benefit to glow in the dark.//

Ah, but how many of them get stepped on?
-- Ling, Jun 12 2012


I really like this idea. A very smart snail would write, "Fishrat lives here" with a big arrow pointing at your front door.
-- blissmiss, Jun 12 2012


//Ah, but how many of them get stepped on?//

Well, there is that too.

If the main cause of death of land snails is accidental crushing by sentimental creatures, then they may evolve luminescence all by themselves. A quick bit of GM with the glowing freshwater species could set them off to a good start.
-- Loris, Jun 12 2012


We need to add it to dogshit, too. I'm pretty sure we've already done that one.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 12 2012


Yep, way back in 2000. A real classic.
-- Alterother, Jun 12 2012


[Mickey The Fish], no less. Memory must be growing dim... I thought it was a [monkfish] idea.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 12 2012


If you want to involve Darwinian forces, how about forcing our gastropodian friends to evolve intelligence as well as luminosity? [link] They can be bright in both senses of the word.
-- AusCan531, Jun 12 2012


Just what we need... an invasion of glow-in-the- dark, intelligent snails with Kiwi accents.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 12 2012


From the [link].

//It is also interesting to note that there are no luminous flowering plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians or mammals.//

...until we tampered with them anyhow.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 12 2012


Insects and worms get a look in, as do fish, cephalopods, crinoids, cnidaria, fungi and a host of other critters we rarely see.
-- UnaBubba, Jun 13 2012


Cereus, flax, moonflowers, passifloras...
-- Phrontistery, Jun 13 2012


//It is also interesting to note that there are no luminous flowering plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians or mammals.//

Apart from one. The stripes of the male Lesser Sarawak Poison Tree Frog bioluminesce, but in the near infrared and only when establishing territories in the breeding season. Since neither the male nor female of the species can see in the infrared, the reason for this bioluminescence is far from clear.

The intercalary twin spent over two years researching this conundrum in the field. At least that's what he says. Given the intimate nature of the tattoo with which he returned from his "fieldwork", Sturton and I strongly suspect that he actually spent most of his time in his favourite bar in Malacca.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 13 2012


Ah, I see.
Pardon me while I look up itnercalary won't you?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 14 2012


//itnercalary// intercalary. As in the intercalary twin, having been born between myself and Sturton.

(When I say 'between', you will of course understand that to be in the temporal rather than physical sense of the word.)
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2012


Is he still intercalary, temporally speaking? Spending too much time around those frogs will do weird things to a man's mind.

So will spending too much time around those bars, for that matter.
-- Alterother, Jun 16 2012


<ruminate> giant luminescent-trail snails painting traffic lines </r>
-- FlyingToaster, Jun 16 2012


//giant luminescent-trail snails painting traffic lines //

You post it, and I'll bun it. Then mfd gm magic it. No I won't. Don't forget the tandem variant. Ooh! could they secrete a sedative compound to calm irate drivers ? Mellow yellow lines. Yeah ... Nurse!
-- bigsleep, Jun 16 2012



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