What is the ‘immortal snail’ question and why is TikTok debating it?

TikTok has become enthralled with the “immortal snail” question. 

It’s a hypothetical where you’re presented with one part wish-fulfillment and one part disappointing caveat. Like, you’re a mermaid who’s granted human legs so you can date a handsome prince, but it comes at the cost of your voice. The “immortal snail” scenario has circulated the internet since 2014, but it’s just now made its way to TikTok

What is the “immortal snail” question? 

On Oct. 1, 2014, the Rooster Teeth Podcast uploaded a clip from their podcast to YouTube. In the episode segment, the host Gus Sorola, Gavin Free, Matt Hullum and Burnie Burns come up with the scenario that would later be dubbed the “immortal snail” or “snail assassin.” 

In the mental exercise, a person is paid $10 million and granted immortality. The kicker is that a snail that can instantly kill them follows them for the rest of their life. The video has since accrued over 3.5 million views. Meanwhile, the scenario itself has been posted across social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter

TikTokers meme the “immortal snail” question 

Rather than debating on whether or not they would take the $10 million and immortality, people are imagining themselves meeting the snail. The setup for the meme typically follows as “me and the snail in X years in the future” and a wacky situation. 

@finnocal

They came into this world together…and they’ll leave it together. #snail #immortalsnail #myfinALLYmoment

♬ original sound – Jacob Baughman

“Me in 3172 when the immortal snail catches me but I covered myself in salt,” @finnocal said, acting out the moment he and the snail would die together. 

“Me: a billionaire successfully escaping to space in a few thousand years,” @bryce.luttrell02 said in a skit. 

Then the sketch cut to a snail dressed as an astronaut — always one step ahead.

“POV: It’s 3041 and you decide to seek out the snail after losing your 10th family,” @ijocornyjoe wrote in a caption. “You find out the snail has their own family. You discover the snail hasn’t been chasing you, you’ve been chasing the snail the entire time.” 

“I thriving knowing you will never rest,” said a @immortal_snail_, an account dedicated to the snail’s perspective. 

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