The bizarre-looking deep sea snail boasts a unique three-layered shell that can easily fend off attacks from crabs as well as protect it from high temperatures. They’re currently known to exist around four hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean where temperatures can reach up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Its outer layer of its shell is made from iron sulfide, creating a suit of armor around its vitals. Read more for a video and additional information.
Researchers also discovered that the snail doesn’t really eat anything, but instead relies on energy produced from bacteria it hosts in a large gland.
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This is an important step towards alerting policymakers to the potential impacts deep-sea mining may have on biodiversity. These are fragile areas under threat, and it’s not like we researchers can start a breeding program for deep-sea-vent creatures. We can only try to protect what’s there,” said Lisa Levin, a biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.