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If there's anything to learn from medieval marginalia, it's that snails once had their own society

Photo: valentinrussanov (Getty Images)

We all know medieval marginalia is full of some pretty sick snail fights. No one knows why, exactly, but there are hundreds of old drawings of snails in combat with knights in old manuscripts. The snails are depicted to be the size of a large dog and they’re usually seen going one-on-one with soldiers for a nice joust or sword fight. But Twitter user @erik_kaars introduces us to a new concept: medieval snail ecology and society.

For one, look at this weird snail cat thing, which has a face that doesn’t look too far off anyone starring in a certain upcoming musical film.


Then there are the half-snail, half-humans, who also have jobs. There’s a snail-monk, who definitely blesses the salt away from the earth, and little snail-kids, who, despite their sinister faces, are thankfully nothing like what Junji Ito might have us believe.

Also, as Wade points out, the existence of snail-monks implies there’s some kind of snail-god to worship. Which could also mean there is an implied snail church holding its own snail-congregation. The existence of the Church of Snails would also mean snails had to build said church, which would then mean snails building things using practical items like hammers, nails, and ladders, which would probably take so much fucking time. Plus, if snail versus knight action is truly a thing in the medieval marginalia universe, that means snail warfare, and massive snail armies had to be trained.


Wade also shows off some other weird snail things, like a small monkey playing a snail some music by way of brass instrument, and a snail-hog hybrid animal. Snails were also vehicles for some knight friends, but when they needed a lift they preferred to ride cats as opposed to themselves.


If only Medieval Times could adopt massive snail-horses for their live shows.


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Kevin Cortez

Kevin Cortez writes on the internet. He wrote this. Follow his dumb tweets @AOLNetScape.