But, in fact, olms are neither “worms” nor “vermin.” Indeed, on closer examination, they’re rather special creatures. For one, their sensory organs have adapted to an entirely dark habitat. Virtually blind, they have eyes that are actually buried behind a layer of skin and are useless for orientation.
To compensate for their poor vision, olms have a range of other receptors, though. Using their noses and mouths, they’re able to sense organic compounds within the water. Their acute hearing, meanwhile, enables the detection of distant sounds and vibrations. Finally, olms possess a unique organ that allows them to sense electromagnetic fields, possibly for navigation.