外媒記者在台灣驚見巨大蝸牛 熱心網友翻出台灣歷史解惑|Foreign media correspondent expresses surprise at first meeting with Taiwan’s giant snails

Will Glasgow, a correspondent for The Australian recently captured a photo of a giant snail roaming the streets of Taipei. (Photo courtesy of Will Glasgow)


There are many cute creatures in Taiwan, big and small, though some are native to the land while others are not.


A foreign media correspondent from The Australian recently came across such a creature in the streets of Taipei, though its slow pace compared with its gigantic size shocked the expat.

Will Glasgow (威爾) 在推特上分享自己在大安森林公園散步時驚見一隻巨無霸大蝸牛,依照貼文的時間判斷,這隻蝸牛應該恰巧在璨樹颱風掃過台灣後決定出來散步透透氣。

In a tweet shared by Will Glasgow, he revealed that he encountered a giant snail in Daan Park seemingly on the evening after Typhoon Chanthu’s (璨樹) visit.


To better demonstrate the size of the snail, Glasgow even took off his shoe as a comparison to the snail, asking social media users whether “all Taiwanese snails [are] enormous.”


While some poked fun in the replies, claiming that it could be because of his feet’ relative “tiny” size, others pointed out that it is likely an African Giant Snail.


Enthusiastic social media users dug deeper into the history of Taiwan to explain why it’s actually quite common to see these giant snails in the streets of Taiwan.


According to local Chinese-language media, the Japanese introduced the species into Taiwan during its colonization period almost 80 years ago to eat them.


However, they began breeding faster than people could eat them, leading to the exotic species invasion of Taiwan’s natural ecosystem.


The snails normally grow up to 7-8 centimeters, though extreme size could reach 20 centimeters.

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Data from Academia Sinica indicates that the snails are omnivorous and love damp and marshy areas, meaning that they love to roam about at night or when it’s raining.


Nowadays, they are still being sold as food in traditional markets. However, stall owners advise boiling them and extracting the meat from the shell before selling them to customers to ensure no parasites remain.


Owing to having no natural enemies in Taiwan, the snails can now be found in all parts of the island, with ecological conservationists advising farmers to clear their vegetable patches from time to time to reduce the number of snails, deeming it a suitable habitat.


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