They die because they become severely dehydrated when salt is poured on them. This is because of osmosis: water travels from a place of high concentration (inside the snail) to a place of low concentration (salty environment *on* the snail) through a semi-permeable membrane (the snail’s skin).
Simple chemistry: it’s caused by osmosis. On the cellular level, water moves between cell membranes from the area of least concentration of salt or other chemicals to the area of most concentration. Snails are watery creatures whose skin is a semi-permeable membrane. Placing salt on their damp skin will dissolve the salt, which causes water inside the cells of the snail to rush to the outside of the membrane to dilute it. Enough salt will draw all the water from inside the snail, killing it.
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