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Mongolian Death Worm

Status: myth  Family: ???????

When I first heard of the Mongolian Death Worm I first thought of Dune, then I thought it must be April fools day. Mind you It's not quite so large as the worms in Dune, but is very bizarre. It is described as a large, fat, red, worm-like creature that lives buried in the Gobi Desert. In the local tongue it is called Allghoi khorkhoi, which means the "blood filled intestine worm", as it appears very similar to a cow's intestine.  It is reported to grow up to five feet in length, although it is possible that larger specimens may exist underground where it is also said to spend much of it's time.  However, despite a number of serious investigations there are still no known reliable sightings.

The name derives from its alleged ability to kill its prey at a distance. Some say that it spits poison or acid, others say that it can fire a burst of electricity. In this it is reminiscent of tales of wyrms or wingless dragons with their breath weapons, which makes some feel this is purely a 'mythic' creature. The more scientific view considers it possible this 'worm' is an unknown reptile, such as some new type of legless lizard because of the dry climate in which it lives. Strangely the colour yellow is said to attract the creature.

The earliest reference in English to the creature is in Professor Roy Chapman Andrews’ 1926 book On the Trail of Ancient Man, although the American palæontologist was not completely convinced by the tales of the monster he heard at a gathering of Mongolian officials: “None of those present ever had seen the creature, but they all firmly believed in its existence and described it minutely".

Modern Day Investigations

Chief investigator of this animal is Czech author Ivan Mackerle who heard about it from a student from Mongolia. He set about researching the worm but found Mongolians have a real reluctance to discuss the worm. Over time he gathered many stories of the incredible worm which allowed him the produce a description:

'Sausage-like worm over half a metre (20 inches) long, and thick as a man’s arm, resembling the intestine of cattle. Its tail is short, as [if] it were cut off, but not tapered. It is difficult to tell its head from its tail because it has no visible eyes, nostrils or mouth. Its colour is dark red, like blood or salami… It moves in odd ways – either it rolls around or squirms sideways, sweeping its way about. It lives in desolate sand dunes and in the hot valleys of the Gobi desert with saxaul plants underground. It is possible to see it only during the hottest months of the year, June and July; later it burrows into the sand and sleeps. It gets out on the ground mainly after the rain, when the ground is wet. It is dangerous, because it can kill people and animals instantly at a range of several metres'

A expedition in 2005 found no evidence of its existence, but believe it could be possible for such a creature could exist in the deep Gobi Desert. The most recent expedition was one in 2006-2007, conducted by the reality-television series, "Destination Truth".

I have found only one game about the creature, it is name 'Death Worm' and it is Windows only. You can download the zip, or even run the exe (3.4MB) live if your security allows it. It's a lot of fun! Enjoy!

bullet Fortean times article on the Mongolian death worm
bullet Wikipedia entry  
bullet Progress of a 2005 Expedition
bullet 2005 general update
bullet 2005 Expedition Report on Mongolian web site
bullet The Cryptid Zoo: Mongolian Death Worm

 

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Copyright 2006 Team Xbow
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