Meet the foot-long African snail breed

Hove, United Kingdom - There are few creatures in the world that are as impressive and bizarre as the mollusk that takes home this ultimate reward. What is the biggest snail in the world, and why is it so huge?

Gee Geronimo was a truly magnificent mollusk.
Gee Geronimo was a truly magnificent mollusk.  © IMAGO/ZUMA/Keystone

Giant snails might seem like the perfect idea for a horror movie, but they are actually a very real thing. These shelled slimers slither across the ground at an incredibly slow rate and are famous for the silvery ribbons they trail behind them.

There are a few, however, that are larger than all the rest, the biggest snails to ever slither, and have an animal world record to prove it.

What is the world's biggest snail?

The biggest snail to have ever been recorded was a bloke named Gee Geronimo, who measured 15.5 inches in length. This giant slimer slithered through the world with a weight of almost exactly two pounds, with a snail that was 10.75 inches in length just by itself.

An absolute monstrosity, Gee Geronimo was discovered in Sierra Leone in June 1976 before being transported back to Hove in the UK and owned by Christopher Hudson for the remainder of its life. Gee Geronimo was an African giant snail, known by many to be the king and queen of the snail kind.

This magnificent mollusk was rewarded with its world record in 1978 and is yet to be beaten when it comes to large snails. It might be a member of a massive species, but no one has ever found one of his kind that featured a more impressive size, shape, shell, and sense of satisfaction.

Now a member of the Guinness World Records family, Gee Geronimo is a legendary snail that will live forever in our hearts and minds.

This snail is an absolute monster – why so huge?

While most snails or relatively small, some are absolute pork chops!
While most snails or relatively small, some are absolute pork chops!  © Unsplash/Alexia Francois

Gee Geronimo was absolutely massive because he was a giant African land snail, otherwise known as lissachatina fulica. These enormous creatures can be found, you guessed it, across areas of the African continent and are often extremely huge, heavy, and spectacular to look at.

Mostly found in East Africa as well as South Africa, these snails are incredibly well distributed across the continent and are well known. In many cases, the adult snail will grow to be 2-3 inches in diameter and 7-9 inches in length. They feature conical shells, look very similar to your standard snail, and like to live in humid climates.

Herbivorous, the giant African snail primarily consumes plants and leaves, as well as vegetables and fungi. In some cases, they eat sand, small stones, bones, and even other snails. Due to their remarkable size and look, many people keep these creatures as pets, often giving them minced meat or something similar as a way to stay healthy.

Dangerous-looking Doberman's reaction to a kitten is too cute!
Dogs Dangerous-looking Doberman's reaction to a kitten is too cute!

As well as being huge, these massive snails can also live for a surprisingly long time. In most cases, the giant African snail lives for between three and five years, but when kept in captivity, these bad boys can live for as long as ten!

The biggest snail in the world was part of the biggest snail species in the world, which is one of the biggest mollusks in the world. It's a truly remarkable creature, unbelievably bizarre, and incredibly funny at the same time.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA/Keystone

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