Experts came across the Atretochoana eiselti, which experts have dubbed the “floppy snake”, as they examined a hydroelectric dam on a river in the Amazon.
Six of the eyeless creatures — actually a family of “blind snake” more closely related to the salamander — were found living at the bottom of the Madeira River in Brazil’s northern state of Rondonia.
The discovery was made in November last year as a stretch of the river was being drained, but was only made public today after the snake’s genus was finally confirmed.
Julian Tupan, biologist for the Santo Antonio Energy company which is building the dam, told Brazil’s Estadao website that hardly anything is known about the lungless, limbless amphibians.
He said: “Of the six we collected, one died, three were released back into the wild and another two were kept for studies.
“Despite looking like snakes, they aren’t reptiles and are more closely related to salamanders and frogs.
“We think the animal breathes through its skin, and probably feeds on small fish and worms, but there is still nothing proven.
“The Amazon is a box of surprises when it comes to reptiles and amphibians. There are still much more to be discovered.”