Snail mail, for real

BBC News: ‘Snail mail’ blazes slow e-trail

Muriel, Austin and Cecil are snails for the electronic age. The gastropods have been fitted with equipment to allow them to send e-mails on behalf of visitors to a website. Instead of instantaneous communication, sent messages will travel at 0.03mph (0.05km/h) and could take days, weeks or even months to arrive. It is part of a "slow art" project called Real Snail Mail at Bournemouth University in the UK which will be showcased in Los Angeles in August.

Each snail has a small RFID tag stuck on their shell. You can enter a message on the Real Snail Mail site to be queued for pick up by the next available snail from a transmitter. The snail will then meander across their tank to a receiver to deliver the message. From there, it goes out to the internet and on to the receipent. I sent myself one on Friday morning, we’ll see how long it takes to arrive.

Muriel the snail has yet to deliver her first message, Austin has an average delivery time of 1.96 days and has delivered ten of the 14 messages sent so far. I’m hoping a boy snail delivers my message.