Scientists stumbled upon something big over at the Bolivian Andes, discovering new plants and species that most thoughts were already extinct. The new sighting was made near the Bolivian capital of La Paz, Zongo Valley, otherwise known as the “heart” of the region.

The place was well-hidden with the steep and rugged mountains thriving with lush biodiversity, CNN reported. It was here where the scientists discovered some reptiles and some plants that have never been seen before or thought to be extinct.

Among those that were discovered include the "mountain fer-de-lance" viper, "Bolivian flag snake" and "lilliputian frog." There were also glorious orchids and butterfly species that were part of the discovery in the 14-day expedition in March 2017 according to research published just recently. The team was co-led by Trond Larsen of the non-profit environmental group Conservation International.

"[In Zongo] the noises you hear are from nature -- all sorts of insects, frogs and birds calling, wonderful rushing sounds and cascades of waterfalls. Everything is covered in thick layers of moss, orchids and ferns," Larsen said. "We didn't expect to find so many new species and to rediscover species that had been thought to be extinct."

One of the new species found was the venomous mountain fer-de-lance viper. The snake has large fangs and also has some heat-sensing pits on its head that helps it detect its prey. The reptile is unknown to science and can be found elsewhere in the Andes according to Larsen.

Aside from the mountain fer-de-lance viper, there is also the Bolivian flag snake that was spotted. It got its name for its striking red, yellow and green colors.

There is also the lilliputian frog which measures roughly a minuscule 1 centimeter in length. It is pretty hard to spot due to its camouflaged brown color and tendency to hide in thick layers of moss and soil.

One reptile found after many years is the devil-eyed frog. It is black with deep red eyes and was last seen before a hydroelectric dam was built in its habitat.

With these discoveries, efforts to push for the protection of the area and help its sustainable development will be pushed.

"The importance of protecting the Zongo Valley is clearer than ever," Luis Revilla, mayor of La Paz said. "As La Paz continues to grow, we will take care to preserve the nearby natural resources that are so important to our wellbeing."

Cemetery for tin miners in Zongo Valley, Bolivia.
Cemetery for tin miners in Zongo Valley, Bolivia. Getty Images | Lisa Wiltse/Corbis

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