06 May 2010

Snail power

February 1895 of the Nautilus had this news item:

The train coming east from Suk-el-Arba [Tunisia] last Thursday was two hours late for a very singular reason. The road was literally covered with snails, the wheels of the locomotive crushing these mollusks into a pulp, which destroyed all adherence and caused the locomotive wheels to skate, so to speak, in their places.
The Nautilus had copied the news from the Philadelphia Recorder, which, in turn, had cited a publication called the Dipeche Tunisienne. Hopefully, the Nautilus's version was an accurate enough rendition of what had actually taken place in Tunisia.

This may have been the only time in history that snails were able to stop a train.

3 comments:

Charles Ellwood Jones said...

The newspaper is La Dépêche tunisienne.

Sadly, Gallica has only 1896 ff. online
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb32756164v/date.r=.langEN
But there must be a library that holds 1995

Julia said...

What a fantastic story!

budak said...

caterpillars have done it too: http://nzetc.blogspot.com/2010/02/caterpillars-stop-train-joan-druetts.html