lick a slug enough, and your tongue will go numb.

If you lick a slug enough, your tongue will go numb. In fact, some Native Americans used to put slugs in their mouths when they had a toothache and let it crawl around. I don't recommend licking a slug, because I'm sure it's not good for them. Slug slime is actually made of a highly organized polymeric material that can absorb water extremely rapidly—up to 100 times its initial volume. It absorbs the water so fast that it's almost explosive. So, you ask, how come slugs don't soak up too much water and explode when the crawl across water? Well the slug cleverly packages up the dry mucus in granules, coating it with a layer of cell membrane material, thereby keeping it dry until it is ready to make slime. When the slug thinks it's time for slime, the granule is broken open and whammo...Slime everywhere!

Another little known fact about slug slime is that not only does it deter predators by being gross and slimey, but it also numbs the tongue of anyone who dares taste it. Go ahead...try it. Slug Slime actually contains an anesthetic. This doesn't keep everyone from eating slugs however. Shrews actually relish the slippery critters, and racoons roll slugs around in the dirt to give them a more palatable coating before eating them. My grandma swore that chickens and turkeys would eat slugs as well.

Scientists are very interested in the characteristics of slug slime. Researchers foresee numerous potential uses, such as pollutant traps for sewage treatment plants, effective water-based lubricants, and improved surgical implants and wound coverings. Slug slime is one of the best natural glues ever discovered and because it sticks especially well to human skin, doctors are studying slug slime to develop surgical implants that will stick to and be accepted by human bodies.

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