Realsnailmail is a project by creative individuals from Bournemouth University in the UK who developed a way to send email using snails as a means of transmitting the information.
Our snails are equipped with a miniaturized electronic circuit and antenna that enables them to be assigned messages from hardware located within their enclosure. The moment you click ‘send’ your message will travel at the speed of light to our snail server where it will await collection by a snail agent.
Once associated with the tiny electronic chip on the snails shell your message will be carried around until the snail chances by the drop off point. Hardware located at this point collects the message from the snail and forwards it to its final destination.
I love the quirky randomness of the snails that provide an unpredictable time length of your email being delivered over the gastropods. (actually, its almost simulates the predictability of Internet email, only slower!) Gives the term ‘snail mail’ a literal meaning.
The creators of realsnailmail give credit to anther snail-based data transport project called SNAP (SNAil-based data transfer Protocol), which is a paper extolling the benefits of a snail based data delivery system. SNAP is based on a chariot-like device tied to the back of a snail and the speeds and reliability of the data on such a system.
Pigeons as a means of transport
Back in April 1990, RFC 1149 was written. It specified a protocol for IP over avian carriers, CPIP (carrier pigeon internet protocol). It was an proposal of using pigeons as a method of transferring network data.
As broadband Internet integrates into almost every household, even dialup modems is unheard of for the current generation. The blazing speeds transferring terabtyes of terabytes of data is often taken for granted by most Internet users, but these projects, albiet seemingly silly, bring light to the actual technology that underlies the Internet and perhaps a greater appreciation of the network technology necessary to bring you that random streaming youtube video that you mindlessly watch. (or not)