Snail Telegraph.

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society has a neat story about 19th-century French occultist Jacques Toussaint Benoit, who believed that he could create a telegraph using snails:

Benoit was convinced that any two snails that had once mated remained forever in telepathic contact, no matter the distance between them. Touch one, and its mate would move. Based on this principle, Benoit devised a pair of contraptions consisting of 24 snails glued to the bottom of a bowl, each representing a different letter of the alphabet. Each snail’s mate was affixed, with a corresponding label, to a receiving device that could be installed anywhere in the world. “Space was not considered by snails. Place one in Paris, the other at the antipodes, the transmission of thought along their sympathetic current as complete, instantaneous and effective as in his room on the troisieme,” writes Sabine Baring-George in the 1889 book Historic Oddities and Strange Events.

He even staged a live demonstration. Read on to see how it turned out: http://www.kirchersociety.org/blog/?p=1072


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