Giant African Snails
Giant African Snails are the largest species of snails on the planet, with a shell that can grow up to 30 cm long and 15 cm in diameter.
Native to the tropical forests of Ghana, Africa, Giant African Snails live in tropical conditions, with no natural enemies. That, combined with the fact each snail can lay up to 1200 eggs per year, makes their large population a true problem. Wherever a colony of these giant snails settles down, all other species of tree snails go extinct. Their insatiable appetite for any kind of plants and fruits makes Giant African Snails pests in their homeland. Just so you can get an idea, these gastropods eat even the stucco and paint, buildings.
Like all snails, Giant African Snails are hermaphrodite and very prolific. Just one pair of snails can turn into an 8 to 10 billion colony, in their 5-7 year life span. Another half cycle like this, and we're looking at 16 quadrillion giant crawlers. It's a scary image, especially since they can bury themselves for up to 6 months, if the climate isn't right for them.
While they're regarded as parasites, in Africa, in the Western World, Giant African Snails are some of the most coveted pets on the market, because of their intelligence and ability to reproduce sounds. Tourists appreciate these creatures because they are huge, slimy and hard to come by.