Early last week it was widely reported that a giant and dangerous species of snail had invaded Texas. Word quickly spread that the Giant African Snail, also known as Achatina achatina, had found it’s way to Houston possibly carrying a number of diseases including meningitis.
Believe it or not, comparisons to zombies quickly followed due to the slow nature of the menace and the infectious contagion that they could easily spread. Thankfully, a spokesman for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service explained that the snails may have been misidentified; and that they were more likely Rosy Wolf snails, a species native to the region.
However, this raises important questions regarding modern media and the perception of potentially infectious diseases. Will the inevitable zombie apocalypse arrive as a result of an invasive species, will news of that contagion cause a panic… and will zombies continue to spread a number of otherwise common biological diseases even after death?