There are inspirations for everyone in nature! Spirituality seems to be the most prominent one but do you know that other fields of life such as sciences, engineering and medicine also draw inspiration from nature? Well, let’s take a look at some snail inspired designs and other discoveries, inventions and arts that are snail inspired!
Various snail inspired inventions and designs is a proof that the crawly slimed gastropod mollusk has come to stay and will live on for many more years regardless of beliefs, cultures and traditions that see them as a taboo.
Snails mean many things to many people, cultures and traditions.
From being a delicacy to the production of slime for pharmaceutical and cosmetics purposes and even to the use of its shells for ornamental and decorative purposes; the snail is definitely a creature worth studying!
Some Snail Inspired Inventions
The natural spiral shapes of the snail shell are incredible, delicate and have numerous interpretations to artists, scientists, engineers, architects and more. The shape and unique shell colours make the snail stand out from other gastropods.
We are influenced by nature directly or indirectly; from the beauty of the natural world to the characteristic features of plants and animals.
Bio-inspiration; a term used in biotechnology is the usage of biological principles and applying them to non-biological science and technology for inventions and development of products to ease life on earth.
The arts and crafts sector is one of the field of human endeavours with the most of snail inspired designs ranging from ornaments to decorations.
Various flower pots, children toys and more are snail inspired. Get ready to be wowed!
The Metal Armour Shell
The scaly-foot snail, Chrysomallon squamiferum is a huge inspiration in various fields of science and technology.
This snail specie remains the only animal ever documented to be capable of creating its own metal amour.
It uses unique materials aside the conventional calcium carbonate to build this armour making it almost impossible to be trampled upon.
The scaly-foot snail is native to the Indian Ocean near the hydrothermal vents.
This exposes them to high salt and sulfur which is toxic to marine organisms; therefore they use the iron sulfides in their shells to remove them.
The iron in their shell is enough that they can blunt a predator’s teeth and also makes them stick to magnets.
Another use of the metal shield is for protection against predators.
When under attack from predators such as crab, the shield is punctured but results in a crack spread in different directions.
That way, the shell takes the cracks and still protects the snail from fatal attacks. This has made them survive in the wild ocean floor for so long.
The U.S military developed body armour based on the structure and characteristics of the scaly-foot snail shell. Helmets, car frames and other vehicles may also be improved using the same technology and approach.
The Reversible Slime Glue
The pHEMA polymer bears a lot of similarities to the epiphram; an adhesive slime layer secreted by the snail.
It is extra strong, reversible glue inspired by the snail slime which is pliable when wet yet, very secure when dry.
The glue sticks on rough surfaces and plastic dry when dry; when moistened, the pHEMA loses its adhesive quality.
The Self-Cooling Desert Dwelling
The snail enjoys a cool, moist and wet environment and when they don’t get this, the recoil into their shell and can stay that way for months.
Also, the desert is known to be very hot and unpleasant and the snails cannot survive there, however, they inspired a group of students who won the Biomimicry Institute’s Student design challenge.
The aspects that most inspired this group include the form, material and its cooling strategies.
They mimicked this by having an overlapping building with a curvy shell to reduce the amount of sunlight that hits gets into the building.
Interesting, the farther back you go into the building, the cooler it becomes.
The students tested their invention and discovered that they achieved the goal in terms of temperature management.
Thanks to the snail, they won!
The Israeli Pavilion
Designed by Haim Dotan Architects but inspired by the snails, the Israelli Pavilion has three areas: hall of innovations, whispering garden, and hall of light.
It is a classic representative of the harmony between earth and sky, humanity and nature and of course, the past and the future.
The Manchester Art Gallery
Hosted by the Manchester Art Gallery, the JS Bach Chamber Music Hall housed live performances celebrating the legendary composer.
The beautiful streamer-inspired fabric wraps around the steel structure to appropriate enclose the stage and the audience while leaving room for entrance and exit.
Slime Inspired Wrinkle Creams
In ancient times, the snail slime was used in treating some ailments but recently, they gained popularity in their effectiveness and use in the cosmetics industry as an anti-wrinkle agent.
Some acne scars and stretch marks creams contain some amount of snail slime which is believed to heal skin damages and help the skin cells regain elasticity.
Snail Shell Furniture Style
Viewing this seat from the top, the bowing backrest begins to tighten its curve towards the right armrest.
This seat referred to as the Fama La Caracola Chair represents the unfamiliar elegance through the incorporation of organic forms all thanks to the snail.
The Fama La Caracola Chair gives the sitter a reason to lean to the right and provide a lovely little surface to set down a drink or perhaps a book.
Snail Shell Recliner
The snail inspired Lu Chair by Sand and Birch strives to bridge a gap between primitive and contemporary aesthetics and this they achieved.
This recliner takes a snail-like shape composed of rounded slices of polyurethane and Alcantra and its metal framework help the configure the cozy perch into a curl up form therefore encouraging the sitter to take a similar pose.
Snail Inspired Motorcycle Covers
Marc Graells Ballve, a Spanish designer came up with a concept inspired by snail shell to protect motorcycle or scooter from being stolen and bad weather.
Similar to how the shell hides the snail when in danger; the protective shell keeps the motorcycle safe too.
The Roman Snail Inspired Spoon
Popular Cochlearium was a small spoon with a long tapering handle and is believed to have been used to remove snails from their shells.
The word cochlea means spiral or snail shell, a cochlearium means a place where snails can be reared for consumption.
Snails are an amazing creature that has found its way into various sectors of the human life.
The intrinsic snail shell, slime are inspirations to technology, architecture etc.
Whether in ancient times or recent times, these snail inspired inventions, designs are a lot easier to understand and a reason for humanity to appreciate these crawly slimed creatures.