I may have found my patronus

It is a blind cave salamander called an olm. This one has been regularly observed for years, and hasn’t moved in over 7 years. It just sits there in the same cool, moist spot, not budging.

“They are hanging around, doing almost nothing,” Dr Balázs told The New Scientist.

Wow. One can live like that? I thought it was only an impossible dream.

And it maintains such a slender figure!


  1. lumipuna says

    I understand it’s not “moist” but underwater in a cave stream, eating invertebrates that sometimes drift close enough to snatch without leaving the spot.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    That’s generally how I feel most of the time, only with a light blanket thrown over me.

    Clinical depression sucks.

  3. nomdeplume says

    Look at the curve in the middle of the body, this fellow can’t decide whether to turn left or right so he stays still. I‘ve had years like that.

  4. kaleberg says

    Can it stay like that for ten years? fifty years? a hundred years? We might be seeing one of our great extinction bottleneck ancestors.

  5. nomdeplume says

    @8 I think you may be right, and I am cross I didn’t see it. I had just assumed this was the normal body form, but looking again it may not be. Puts a totally different emphasis on the story.

  6. monad says

    @10: Lots of pictures and even videos of olms (Proteus anguinus) online. They all have very thin bodies and small legs like this. So it’s more that they don’t need to run around, just slither and maybe use the legs to get past the occasional obstacle.

  7. marcoli says

    What he is possibly trying to get at is that there are cases, which go back many years, where university profs in the humanities had used the term while directly quoting someone else. Then they get into serious trouble for that. Here are but two recent examples: