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Last Updated: Wednesday July 23 2008 08:22 GMT

In Pictures: Snail mail in action

The information snail

Every minute of every day two million e-mails are sent in the UK. But these snails Muriel, Austin and Cecil are sending them in a very different way.

The information snail

They've been fitted with special equipment so they can receive and send emails.

The information snail

When one of the snails slithers past an electronic reader in their tank an email is attached to this chip on their shell.

The information snail

The snail then carries that message round the tank until they pass a second reader which grabs the message and forwards it over the internet in the usual way.

The email can take days or weeks to get there. Scientists behind the experiment say the aim is to make people think about slowing down a bit.

The email can take days or weeks to get there. Scientists behind the experiment say the aim is to make people think about slowing down the way they communicate with each other a bit.