The Snail Telegraph,
In the mid 19th century a French occultist named Jacques Toussaint Benoit theorized that if a pair of snails touched, they would form a special telepathic link that could not be severed by distance. To cash in on his theory, he built a machine called the “pasilalinic-sympathetic compass”, also known as the snail telegraph. The machine consisted of a box with 24 small cages each holding a snail which corresponded with a certain letter of the alphabet. A corresponding device held another 24 snails which were supposedly linked with the snails of the first device. When the operator touch a snail, the snail of the corresponding letter on the other device would supposedly react by wiggling.
Benoit demonstrated a working device to a journalist with the French newspapaer La Presse and his financial backer, a man named Monsieur Trait . The journalist was convinced that the snail telegraph worked, but Triat was much more skeptical, and demanded a stricter test done under scientific conditions. Benoit agreed, but skipped out of town and disappeared before the second test could be conducted.