Giant African Land Snails like Achatina fulica and Achatina achatina are the biggest land snails in the world! They reach some 8 inches long and sometimes even longer.

They’re also extremely invasive. While they’re native to sub-Saharan Africa, they’ve spread to warm, humid areas all over the world.

They get taken over as pets or as a food source and if they escape, they’re able to live in a huge variety of habitats and feed on a vast menu of fruit and vegetables.

They’re truly a most unexpected invasion. I would’ve assumed that the biggest land snail in the world would be some rare species endemic to a remote southeast Asian island that can only be visited by hitching a lift on a fishing boat.

Instead, they’re a global pest species!

Images: Grzegorz Polak/Arthur Chapman/Schneckenmama/Sonel.SA

The Rubber Boa is one of a tiny handful of boa species found in North America and the only one in Canada.

They get their name from the fact that they look like they’re made of rubber. Their tiny scales are amazingly shiny and their skin appears oddly loose such that they have all these weird wrinkles about them.

Rubber Boas are almost completely defenceless. They have no venom, and when threatened they’ll simply roll up into a ball and shake their tail around to pretend it’s their head. They practically never bite!

For ophidiophobes, it’s one of the world’s least worst snakes!

Images: Natalie McNear/Todd Battey/Ken-ichi Ueda