Before J. M. Barrie introduced us to the charmingly cranky and vindictive Tinker Bell, fairies had traditionally been cast as vicious scoundrels hell-bent on stealing your kids and tearing up that lawn you paid so much money for. Today the fairy is a decidedly more whimsical, endearing creature, and nowhere is it more legendary than in the deserts of Argentina.

Here dwells the remarkable pink fairy armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus), a 5-inch-long, quarter-pound critter with a rosy shell atop silky white hair. This smallest of all armadillos spends almost its entire life burrowing through the earth, hunting various invertebrates and chewing up plant matter. It is a rarely seen, almost totally unstudied marvel — what you read here is pretty much all we’ve observed about the pink fairy armadillo.

So exactly how elusive are they? Conservation biologist Mariella Superina of Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council has been studying other armadillos in the pink fairy’s habitat for 13 years and has never once seen one in the wild. And locals can’t tell her how to track them. The only specimens she gets are injured ones found and brought in for rehabilitation or those confiscated from chuckleheads keeping them as pets.

Unlike in all other armadillos, the pink fairy’s shell is not fully attached to its body, instead connecting with a membrane that runs along the spinal column. The thin carapace’s underlying blood vessels actually show through, giving it that beautiful hue that you’re now reconsidering being beautiful because it’s made of blood.

[MORE - Absurd Creature of the Week: Pink Fairy Armadillo Crawls Out of the Desert and Into Your Heart]

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