MNN Galleries

12 of the most interesting snails in the world

Scaly-foot gastropod

Photo: Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

7 of 14

Scaly-foot gastropod

Discovered in 1999 more than 2 miles below the central Indian Ocean, the scaly-foot gastropod might be the world's best armored snail. It looks like it's covered in plated mail, and that impression isn't far off. The animal incorporates metals and sulfides that it gathers from hydrothermal vents into its shell. The shell's outer layer is fused with iron sulfide, covering the animal in metallic plates.