Why Do Snails Come Out When It Rains?

Why Do Snails Come Out When It Rains?

If you have a garden or live in a place with plenty of soil, you must have come across these creatures after the rain. Legends say that a snail, in its normal life, must move slowly and gather energy so that it can quickly rise above the ground after the rain. Let’s examine together why these rain-loving creatures exhibit this behavior and the painful consequences of climbing on the ground!

What Watermelon and Snail Have in Common: More than 80% Water!

Before we get to the reasons why snails appear after rain, we need to examine snails a little.

The water content of a snail’s body is more than 80%. In order to maintain this water rate, it has to be in humid environments. That’s why we hardly see snails on hot and dry days. Even a short exposure to the sun can be fatal for snails, who spend most of their lives in trees, under the ground, in shadows, or close to the ground. That’s why they appear on cold and cloudy days. It is also for the same reason that they often go out in the evening.


Trees and soils, on the other hand, are good nests as they are both cooler and more humid environments than outside.

Snails have a very important position in our ecosystem. They clean the environment by eating the substances that rot and mix with the soil. There are also cannibalistic snails that can also feed on fungi. Yes, some snails can eat other snails!

There are hundreds of different species of snails. Studies show that there are around 300 species even in the US state of Texas alone.

Rain Lover Creature: Snail

Unless we’re outside during the rain, most of us love the rain. In fact, that unique scent that emerges after the rain reaches the ground has a fascinating effect. But there are many lovers of rain. Snails and earthworms are among them.

These creatures need a moist environment to live. As soon as the humidity in the environment drops, they start to dry and this results in death.

Snail Image

There are several reasons why they come to the ground after the rain.

The first reason is that they can move more freely. Now that it is humid outside, it has become a good environment for them to live in.

The second reason is reproduction. The humid environment after the rain is a blessing to go outside and reach potential spouses. Another interesting feature of snails is that both females and males can become pregnant. Both sexes can lay their eggs.

Another reason is the instinct to escape from predatory species. The vibration created by falling raindrops in the soil is similar to the vibrations produced by the movement of other predatory species such as moles. Sensing this, the snails immediately rise above the ground to escape.

Notes from Underground: Be Careful Where You Step!

There is a greater danger that snails escaping from the soil are unaware of: the risk of being crushed. Snails have a shell to keep the humidity in their bodies constant and to protect themselves against predatory species. When this shell is broken, their chances of survival are greatly reduced.

Unfortunately, we often do not pay attention to the places we step on. Therefore, a significant part of the snails that emerge after the rain is crushed and die.

Dog and Snail Image

Therefore, please be careful to walk by looking at the ground on rainy days and not to harm these little friends unintentionally!

References and Further Readings

Due , L. (2020). Why Do Snails Come Out After it Rains?–.

Why Do Snails and Slugs Come Out After it Rains. Why Do Snails and Slugs Come Out After it Rains | Aptive Environmental. (2020).

You can access the sources of the images used by clicking on the images.

The proofreading has been done by Asu Pelin Akköse and Mete Esencan.

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Mete Esencan

Hello everyone! I'm Mete Esencan. I am a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at METU. I was planning to establish a platform by combining the research knowledge I gained during my basic science education and the management experience I gained in the METU Chemistry Society, which I was in charge of for three years. For this purpose, in February of 2021, I took the first step and established the OkButWhy, a platform where we can write articles as if to chat about science, art and philosophy. I wish everyone a pleasant reading!

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