Finding Elusive Violet Snails


Surface Interval
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
March 10, 2024


Research Team

  • Ed and Joseph Malkiel

Project Overview

On March 10th, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society participated in this self-described "side project" aiming to characterize the unique carbon-based ink of the Violet Snail aims to utilize opportunistic samples to collect enough of this ink to characterize its makeup. Marine compound research such as this can be important in making breakthrough discoveries in medical fields, as well as other industries. It is unique and hard-to-find molecules such as these that can allow for the next innovative steps in drug research.

Duration of Project

March 2024

Expedition Summary

This excursion was an opportunistic sampling event which took place over Daylight Savings weekend. After an exciting research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico where Dr. Malkiel and long-time SeaKeepers collaborator Dr. Rebeccas Helm found many Violet Snails, the researchers came back to shore excited to find more. Some insight about the directions of certain currents around the tip of Florida gave them reason to believe that these snails may be floating by South Florida very soon. With little time to pivot from their week-long excursion to a one-day offshore excursion, scientists reached out to SeaKeepers in hopes of finding an available vessel to travel miles offshore into the Gulf Stream. Luckily, DISCOVERY Yacht Surface Interval was willing to take researchers and SeaKeepers team members out with short notice to try to track down some of these elusive creatures!



Gulf Stream - 18 miles offshore Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Video credits: LGWV Photo