HEAVY DUTY

Strongest Material on Earth: Snail Teeth

Snails have teeth? Researchers in the U.K. have discovered the strongest biological material ever recorded—in a breed of aquatic snails. Limpets, which are snails with shells that have no obvious coiling, possess teeth made of goethite, an iron-based mineral that is threaded into fibers. It is five times stronger than spider silk and is now deemed the world’s strongest material. “These teeth are made up of very small fibers, put together in a particular way,” the study’s lead author Asa Barber said. “And we should be thinking about making our own structures following the same design principles.”