In medieval bestiaries, the salamander was a mythical creature of great power, capable of crawling leisurely through fire and even extinguishing it with its body. Leonardo da Vinci, in fact, believed that it even ate flames, though this is unlikely. Everyone knows fire is low on vitamins.
Unbeknownst to these Europeans, on the other side of the world there lives a salamander with powers far stranger than resistance to fire. It’s the axolotl of Mexico, a bizarre amphibian capable of regrowing limbs and even its spine with ease. Scientists have for decades struggled to unlock its regenerative secrets, all while our environmental meddling has nearly driven it to extinction.