Presentation of this planet and its moons, including ring and creatures

- Chapter 16 -
The giant, illuminated Ray Snail. Its appearance during ocean storms.

his, the fifth snail, is the last in the order of the snails; at the same time it is the largest and in one respect the most peculiar. This snail is called "the ray snail." It is seen by the inhabitants of Saturn only before the most severe ocean storms, which we discussed earlier. Its shape is the most magnificent that you can imagine. In order to make a comparison, there is nothing on earth that is similar.
But to give you an idea, imagine a large cut brilliant; because this snail is so angular, the top part is more flat, whereas it is more pointed at the lower parts. The edges, which, on the upper portion, are several thousand in number, are arranged in the most beautiful order and all of them are in triangles. They look like polished golden stripes 3 feet wide, which are everywhere enclosed by a completely equilateral triangular area. The triangular plate measures 18 feet on each side, and none is larger or smaller. Only on the very top of the snail is there a larger area which is not triangular. It has thirty-two points, and is similar to a compass dial which, at its outer ends, is also trimmed with wide gold stripes. These plates are as translucent as a cut diamond and are of the same hardness. All these facets have the ability to absorb the light of the sun and the stars and then emit it at night when it becomes darker in the various refraction of rays.
What is the size of this snail? While it is on the surface of the ocean it could easily accommodate all the houses, streets and squares of your capital city.'9 The shell itself is 60 feet thick and from the top of the shell to the tip of the bottom, is 1,800 feet. As far as the width is concerned, the diameter usually exceeds 1 geographic mile. The opening of this shell is elliptical and has a diameter of 420 feet. The snail stretches its massive head, which is very similar to that of a walrus, through this opening. It stretches its head so far over the surface of the ocean, and mostly so straight, especially during storms, that on earth it could see over high mountains with ease.
Despite its tremendous size, this snail has a gentle nature and does nobody any harm. Its nourishment consists of the three different kinds of food. First, water plants which are also very large in size and in abundance. Secondly, the large sea worms. Thirdly, at times it feeds on sea birds, which are a delicacy for the snail. It only eats these birds during severe storms, because during calm water this giant animal is usually in the depths of the ocean.
On a dark, stormy night when the snail emerges from the depths of the ocean, it often spreads such a strong light that an area of 100 square geographic miles on the ocean is completely illuminated. Imagine that during a storm the many mountains of water almost reach the sky, and you are standing on a high mountain overlooking several thousand square geographic miles of ocean, where here and there such ray snails emerge. This will give you a small idea of the spectacle this view affords the people on this planet. It becomes especially imposing when several of these snails emerge in groups and raise their long necks above the surface of the ocean while they hunt for the storm birds that fly about. However, for you, using your terminology, such a sight would be gruesome and awfully beautiful.
This snail is not captured by the Saturnites, because during the calm it is never on the surface of the ocean. Secondly, the shell is too heavy to transport anywhere on land for a particular purpose. This snail reaches a very old age and usually lives 30 Saturnian years. When it dies, the entire shell falls apart and everything else decays as well in due time. The flesh is usually devoured by a kind of fish that resembles the sharks in the oceans of earth, but has an even greater resemblance to the crocodiles.
This concludes the chapter about the ray snail. Here, too, awaken the power of your imagination, and with the help of the information given, you should be able to achieve a proper conception of this animal.
In the next chapter we will deal with the third group of crustaceans, but first we will discuss the turtles; the description of these will amaze you even more than the mussels and snails. For now, I say Amen!