The Helix Aspersa, or garden snail, normally lives its entire life within an area of 20 square feet. With a top speed of 1.3cm per hour, they are not known for extensive travelling.
However Jeff, a tightly-built common brown, has blazed an unconventional silvery trail in terms of our understanding of snail travel. Jeff was one of a number of snails electronically tagged in a small garden in Canley, Coventry, by Dr Brian Harrison of the University of Coventry, as part of a research project into snail homing instincts.
Jeff was subsequently plucked off a lettuce by garden owner Mrs Brown and tossed, screaming, over the fence into the garden of Mr Pease at No.38. This process appears to have repeated itself some 2000 times, with Jeff journeying further and further from home, until he finally came to rest in a school field in Dudley.
Jeff was unavailable for comment. However his brother Vernon gave a short statement. ‘That fucker thinks he’s something special since he’s been travelling. Well, he can go fuck himself.’
Dr Harrison commented, ‘with both male and female reproductive organs, it’s quite possible that Jeff is indeed fucking himself/herself as we speak.’