Snail Poo Makes Weird and Wonderful New Material
Who would have thought that snail poo could be turned into a new, colorful and flexible material? This exciting new idea was conceived by Dutch designer Lieske Schreuder, who adopted hundreds of snails from a snail breeder and fed them colored paper. The byproduct is a unique and malleable material that can be used to make a variety of cool products.
At the early stages of the project, Schreuder realized that slimly creatures can’t digest the colored paper’s pigments so the dye must come out together with the little poo deposits. So she collected copious amounts of snail waste and stuffed it into a machine that grinded it, mixed it and extruded colorful threads.
Schreuder has woven these threads into flexible colored tiles and experimented with other uses, but the turnout rate is really slow: it takes an hour just to make one meter (and nine snails five days to make six grams of waste.)
If you are worried about the health of the hardworking creatures please don’t. Their paper food has a very similar cellular structure to the plant matter they typically eat, so they seem to be enjoying the project.
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