Sometimes known as “human fish” owing to their pinkish skin color, olms are small, eel-like creatures with narrow, cylindrical bodies. They reach up to 16 inches from head to tip and resemble tiny dragons. Moreover, they live and breed entirely under the water, with external gills enabling them to breathe.
The first official record of the species was made by Valvasor in the 17th century, and he described them in rather unflattering terms. “Barely a span long, akin to a lizard,” he wrote in The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, a 15-volume encyclopedia. “In short, a worm and vermin of which there are many hereabouts.”