It would probably be feeling pretty good about itself right now if it hadn’t died in the process.

The trains of Japan have a reputation not only for being incredibly punctual, but also extremely well maintained. At each terminal, cleaning crews scour every car from top to bottom, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

However, it’s foolish to think the more grimy elements of Earth would take this affront to their existence sitting down. For too long have slimy creatures been banned from trains, and one lone slug — taking matters into its own tentacles — struck back on 30 May.

▼ Despite what their name suggests, slugs are known throughout the animal kingdom for not taking crap lying down.

In Kitakyushu City on the island of Kyushu, at about 9:40 in the morning, a blackout occurred on the JR Kagoshima Line between Moji Station and Space World Station as well as the Nippo Line running between Kokura and Jono Stations. In total, 26 train routes were affected running in all directions and approximately 12,000 people were affected by delays that lasted about an hour.

Railway workers traced the source of the blackout to a piece of equipment called a disconnector switch. This is a switch that diverts the electricity from a part of a system so that repairs or maintenance can be safely done on it.

▼ The control box for a disconnect switch on the Hoover Dam, securely locked up.

Disconnector switches are only used during those times, and because their purpose is safety, they must be guarded from people and the elements. In this case, the switch was housed in a box with all its openings sealed with glue to prevent insects or small animals from wandering inside.

However, when rail crews opened a disconnector switch on the Kagoshima Line between Moji and Kokura Stations, they found the body of a slug that appeared to have been electrocuted. More impressive than the JR workers’ ability to determine the slug’s cause of death is the fact that it got in the highly-sealed container to begin with.

Readers of the news were amazed at how something so huge could be taken down by something so small.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“That’s like winning the lottery of terrible things.”
“Let us say a prayer for the slug. May it finally find peace.”
“It’s been really humid recently.”
“Slugs are a lot tougher than I thought.”
“I guess you could say there was a bug in their system!”
“I’ve been seeing a lot more slugs and snails out this year.”
“They should cover those things in salt too.”
“I’m even more terrified of slugs now.”

Prof. Ryota Matsuo of Fukuoka Women’s University confirmed to media that slugs are capable of compressing their bodies to fit into surprisingly narrow crevices. In this case it seems the slug managed to find a tiny unsealed gap in the disconnector switch casing. Once inside, it must have touched a cable and short-circuited the entire section of railway.

The lesson we can all learn from this is that slugs are formidable creatures with the potential to easily disable infrastructure. Should they someday be weaponized, it could very well change the face of warfare as we know it — or a least make for an interesting Call of Duty mission.

Source: Nishi Nippon Shimbun, My Game News Flash, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/Guttorm Flatabø
Insert image: Wikipedia/Deborah Dobson-Brown
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!