Spicy Species Spotted in Frankfurt!

SOSA’s billboard campaign makes a splash.

Crustaceans, marine worms, squids, and snails have started surfacing on billboards across Frankfurt. These marine invertebrates are paired with spicy sayings like “Heiße Schnecke in Deiner Nähe” (Hot Snails Near You) or “Hairy Boy Will Kuscheln” (Hairy Boy Wants To Cuddle). Of course, these sayings are meant to spark curiosity and entice viewers to want to learn more, but they also tell you a bit about each animal. The “Hot Snail” is Chrysomallon squamiferum, the scaly-foot snail who lives on hydrothermal vents in the deep-sea where temperatures can reach up to 400°C! And that “Hairy Boy”? That is the marine worm, Pherecardia striata, whose fluff is not actually very cuddly, as it can cause burning pain if touched.

The main goal of the campaign is to arouse curiosity for and awareness of marine research that is happening in Frankfurt. “Of course, most people in the Rhine-Main area know our nature museum, and many certainly also know our research around the Messel mine or animal species such as insects or birds. But marine research also belongs in Frankfurt, and we want to inspire enthusiasm for this with the campaign,” reports Prof. Dr. Julia Sigwart, section head of malacology at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Nature Museum Frankfurt and Co-founder of SOSA.

This marine research includes the work happening at SOSA. As we are ramping up our work to discover, protect, and build awareness of marine invertebrates, we want people to know that Frankfurt is a place where innovative ocean research is happening.

“You can’t protect what you don’t know,” explains Sigwart and continues: “That’s why we invite everyone to learn more about the fascinating sea creatures that you certainly don’t easily come across on a beach holiday.”

The billboards point viewers to a website with further information about the animals and the SOSA project. Locals can also get involved through a city-wide billboard hunt to spot these spicy species in their own neighborhoods. Learn more at: www.senckenberg.de/sosa