They thought Jeremy would always be a loner and would never find love. But after a worldwide search, Jeremy the snail did find someone.
Unless you’re a snail aficionado, you might not know that snail shells almost always twist to the right. But there are outliers who have shells that twist to the left. They are extremely rare. Some say they are one in a million.
Jeremy was one such snail. The way a snail’s shell twists is a big deal. With a shell twisting to the right, finding a mate is easy. For those unlucky snails with a shell twisting to the left, mating is impossible. The sexual organs do not line up.
One researcher describes snail sex as two cars approaching each other very slowly and passing something through the window as they pass. Now imagine one of those cars is from the U.S. and the other car is from the U.K. The American driver sits on the left, and the British driver sits on the right. As they pass each other, the drivers are too far apart to pass anything. This is the life of a lonely left twisting snail living in a right twisting snail society.
For much of history, snails like Jeremy were destined to be celibate forever. Their chance of finding another snail with a left twisting shell would be like finding a needle in a haystack. That was before the internet. And before Angus, a scientist at the University of Nottingham, turned to the internet to play matchmaker. He put out a call searching for other left twisting snails on social media, and the story went viral. People empathized with Jeremy, the lonely snail. The story was even on TV. The BBC made a request to the public to help poor Jeremy find love.
Against the odds, two other left twisting snails were found for Jeremy. Lefty the snail was owned by a woman named Jade from Ipswitch. Tomeau the snail came from Spain. After striking out with Lefty, Angus put Jeremy together with Tomeau, but again Jeremy struck out. Before long, Tomeau and Lefty got friendly and had 170 snail babies. Poor Jeremy was more alone than ever.
Angus was a determined wingman and had a plan. He put Jeremy in a refrigerator, which made him hibernate. When Jeremy awoke, he was rejuvenated. Angus put Jeremy together with Tomeau again, and the sparks flew. Tomeau had 56 snail babies with Jeremy.
Lefty’s owner, Jade says, “It shows that there is someone for everyone. You just have to find them. It kind of gives you a sense of hope. Not just snails but humans too.”