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My previous questions of this type (one concerning Plops, the other Chompers) concerned protecting medieval villages. This question is less specific, and here's why: Snappers can spawn anywhere.

Seriously, anywhere where water collects (anywhere mosquitoes may lay their eggs) is a potential spawn point for Snappers. When rain falls and makes puddles, Snappers spawn in those. Anywhere water has gone stagnant (or gathers if it's raining), a Snapper will likely spawn inside-not a typical vase with flowers, the area has to be big enough to admit a typical bullfrog inside it (because Snappers are around that size). Thus, the amount of Snappers that spawn in an area is the maximum amount of bullfrogs that can fit comfortably in that space.

This is especially bad in desert areas, where cisterns are supposed to store life-sustaining (and clean) water but instead end up holding lots and lots of Snappers. It also makes drawing water from a well potentially dangerous-Snappers can jump six feet up, their jaws can open wide enough for them to engulf a man's face, if not his entire head, and thanks to their webbed feet (no legs, just the feet, they use their powerful tails to jump, sort of like a springtail) they can crawl around, looking for nice faces to eat.

That begs the question, how dangerous is a Snapper? (This is not the question you are answering, by the way). Snappers can:

  1. Leap six feet up and six feet away in a single bound,

  2. Engulf someone's head after said bound,

  3. If not promptly removed, start growing to engulf the entire body,

  4. Breathe air and water with equal ease,

  5. Run up to 28 mph on land, swim 56 mph in water

  6. Eat almost anything (they have cast iron stomachs, they're omnivorous but prefer meat, their jaws can snap or crush bone with ease, and their teeth are also as sharp and hard as steel daggers),

  7. Live almost anywhere; saltwater, freshwater, mud, on land if it's humid enough (think swamp, marsh or rainforest),

and 8. are slippery and aggressive enough to escape a fisherman's grasp and maul him; think pirahnas on legs, but with the ferocity of a wolverine.

Obviously, Snappers are a real threat to human safety. The question, my question, is How Can Medieval People Protect Themselves From Snappers?

Please Note:

  1. Snappers are tough, so they aren't easily killed. You can whack one with an oar, throw it against a brick wall, and it'll be perfectly fine. You could even use one as a stress squishy, if not for the fact it would slip out of your hands and proceed to attack you. Attempts to crush Snappers with rocks or other heavy objects usually see them popping out from under them. They've also been dropped from 50 feet up, only to walk away unharmed.

They are also coated in a ooze that is endowed with cooling and fire-suppressing secretions when exposed to heat, so burning them won't work (at least not quickly, their coolant would have to be exhausted) except with Engulfer-fueled flames, and those are temperamental. However, they can be starved, suffocated, frozen, eaten (though your insides won't like the results), and so forth. Plops and Chompers also eat Snappers, as do Engulfers.

Specifications For Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will include active and passive methods; methods that require human action to work and others that work without interference. I count behavioral patterns as active methods.

  2. The best answer will thoroughly cover multiple viable methods and explain why they'd work.

  3. Said methods should be viable for medieval villagers, something they can actually come up with and produce. That being said, human ingenuity is quite something, so I'm willing to be lenient on this one.

Please let me know if there is any more information needed, thank you for your input! By the way, if you decide to VTC or down-vote, please explain why so I can improve the question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? I don't see the problem, and I can't fix anything without knowing what's wrong or broken. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 31 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Why are you so hell-bent on making your poor villagers' little lives so miserable? $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Mar 31 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Otkin: I'm really not, which is why I'm asking this question. I'm trying to balance common monsters and make it so that cities and towns will be relatively safe, but the wilderness will be full of monsters. One also has to consider that enchantments and Classes make it relatively easy to make monsters useless as a threat or challenge. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 31 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ But how many snappers can spawn? For instance: in a clearance of a forest there are 10 ponds of water. Each 1 meter wide. How many Snappers will spawn in a day? In a year? From the question it looks like they will soon overrun the world. Capping spawning seems a first step to an overpowered species. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen: good question. Plops and Snappers will both eat each other without a second thought, but they likely need other predators. Granted, I've already come up with Chompers and Anklebiters, which could fulfill that purpose....thank you for the food for thought! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 31 at 22:39
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Free meat!

Meat that magically materializes would be a valuable resource. Given their ferocity snappers will be easy to catch with a hook. Once the barb is set then you have the snapper secure. You can accumulate several, pulling them out as they spawn. Leave them on the hook. Maybe putting out their eyes will make them less fierce. Or put them in a bag.

Then you can grind them up, saving the dagger hard teeth for other uses. Maybe you can eat them if you prepare them right. If not the mush can be fed to pigs or chickens; creatures which make good food for humans.

Persons in areas where snappers might be will carry a pole with fake head lure on it. Snappers will go for the head. One can then push the pole end thru the snapper and set the barb. Tie the pole to a tree and move on. Several such poles might be necessary in areas overrun with snappers.

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    $\begingroup$ I have a feeling snappers would become a delicacy in France. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ Oh my goodness, I did not think of that! Snappers may just eliminate the fishing industry altogether! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 31 at 22:37
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Well, this makes a few things really hard. Your old fashioned bucket and rope type well impractical and unsafe so what is a peasant to do.

Sand filtration for a sealed cistern a good start. don't give them a place to spawn in your water supply. Use something like an Archemedes Screw to move the water to the opening of the cistern and run the water through about 3 feet of sand filters. Have the cistern sitting a few feet above ground so you can open a tap to get the water you need without opening the top side to snappers.

Next thing to keep the critters at bay. Wide eaves on houses and pay really close attention to drainage. If you build correctly, you can keep the snappers away from dwellings with the simple expedient of building on the tops or sides of hills. take the time to keep drainage channels clear. Send convicts to keep the lowlands clear of likely spawning places. Wide eaves means that water runoff lands further from the house and you can decide where it goes.

Next, controlled burns. Burning a field to stubble after a harvest is a common enough thing through history, but it may be even more important here. It may not kill too many of the snappers outright, but it will be useful to expose possible trouble spots and it may serve to kill snapper spawn off. A good burn may even be hot/long enough to kill off adults.

You peasants are going to be REALLY interested in ways to poison the snappers. In our world we have poisoned rats for centuries with a variety of compounds. I'm certain that Snappers didn't evolve with humans as their only prey food. What else do they eat? Learn That, then grow some of that in as controlled a manner as possible. Then add Poison and distribute in places where the Snapper is likely to be.

All of this is to deny them habitat. Make the habitat unlivable or downright dangerous and your snapper population will thrive somewhere else.

Humans can control habitat. If you are human and you can live in certain conditions but the snapper can't, you win.

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    $\begingroup$ Good points on poison and prevention, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 31 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ No problem. What you are dealing with is a problem that is literally as old as human civilization. just with a new,(and presumably ugly) face $\endgroup$
    – Paul TIKI
    Mar 31 at 18:31

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