In search of the Mongolian Death Worm

Mongolian Death worm
Takeshi Yamada

Trudging gingerly across the arid sands of the Gobi desert, Czech explorer Ivan Mackerle is careful not to put a foot wrong, for he knows it may be his last. He scours the land and shifting valleys for tell-tale signs of disturbance in the sands below, always ready for the unexpected lurch of an alien being said to kill in one strike with a sharp spout of acidic venom to the face. A creature so secretive that no photographic evidence yet exists, but the locals know it’s there, always waiting in silence for its prey, waiting to strike – the Mongolian Death Worm.


Reported to be between two and five feet long, the deep-red coloured worm is said to resemble the intestines of a cow and sprays a yellow acidic saliva substance at its victims, who if they’re unlucky enough to be within touching distance also receive an electric shock powerful enough to kill a camel… or them.

Illustration Death Worm
via Zwitter

Given the latin name Allghoi khorkhoi, the Mongolian Death Worm was first referred to by American paleontologist Professor Roy Chapman Andrews (apparently the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character) in his book On the Trail of Ancient Man, in 1926 but he didn’t appear to be entirely convinced about the whole idea. Even though locals were desperate to relay events of when the dreaded worm struck, Andrews writes: “None of those present ever had seen the creature, but they all firmly believed in its existence and described it minutely.” But it wasn’t to stop other inquisitive adventurers taking up the investigative mantle when Andrews was no longer interested, or able to pursue the matter.

mongolian death worm illustration
Pieter Dirkx

Only a few years ago, in 2005, a group of English scientists and cryptozoologists spent a month in the hostile Gobi desert searching for the fabled creature, and although they spoke to a number of Mongolians in the area, all of whom regaled wondrous stories of the worm, no one could verify they had seen the creature first-hand. Even still, after four weeks the team had gathered enough verbal evidence to be convinced that the worm really does exist. Lead researcher, Richard Freeman, said: “Every eyewitness account and story we have heard describes exactly the same thing: a red-brown worm-like snake, approximately two feet long and two inches thick with no discernable head or back (tail).”

Ivan Mackerle
Intrepid explorer, Ivan Mackerle

Today, it is Ivan Mackerle, a self-made cryptozoologist who travels the world in search of scientific evidence that proves creatures like the Loch Ness monster and Mongolian Death Worm exist. As a boy he read the stories of the Russian paleontologist Yefremov, who wrote about a worm, which resembled a bloody intestine, that could grow to the length of a small man and mysteriously kill people at great distance, possibly with poison or electricity.

Mackerle says: “I thought it was only science fiction. But when I was in university, we had a Mongolian student in our class. I asked him, ‘Do you know what this is, the Allghoi khorkhoi?’ I was waiting for him to start laughing, to say that’s nothing. But he leaned in, like he had a secret, and said, ‘I know it. It is a very strange creature.’”

So Does the Mongolian Death Worm really exist, and what if it does?

This insistence by locals that worm is a reality will continue to fuel inquisitive minds and as long as open-mindedness remains a fair virtue, we’re prepared to wait a little longer for empirical proof of its existence.

Just remember, if you do decide to go Death Worm hunting in the Gobi desert, don’t wear yellow, seemingly that’s the color that sends our wrinkly friend into one its trademark electrifying, spitting freak outs. Don’t say we didn’t warm you.

A Mongolian Death Worm showing 2 forms of attack.

The Mongolian Death Worm, known to Mongolia’s nomadic tribesmen as the allghoi khorkhoi (sometimes given as allerghoi horhai or olgoj chorchoj) or ‘intestine worm’ for its resemblance to a sort of living cow’s intestine. It is said to be red in colour, and is sometimes described as having darker spots or blotches, and sometimes said to bear spiked projections at both ends. They are said to be thick bodied and between 2 and 5 feet long.

The Mongolian Death Worm is said to inhabit the Southern Gobi Desert in Mongolia. The first reference in English to this remarkable beast appears in Professor Roy Chapman Andrews’ 1926 book On the Trail of Ancient Man, although the American palæontologist (apparently the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character) was not entirely 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.”

Czech Explorer Ivan Mackerle:
"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."

The creature is reported to be able to spray an acid like substance that causes death instantly. It is also claimed that this creature has the ability to kill from a distance with some sort of super charged electrical charge. Numerous Mongolians have reported seeing this creature including a Mongolian Premier. The creature is reported to hibernate during most of the year except for June and July when it becomes active.

It is believed that touching any part of the worm will bring instant death, and its venom supposedly corrodes metal. Local folklore also tells of a predilection for the color yellow and local parasitic plants such as the Goyo. It is also believed that the worm likes to get out on the ground generally after the rain, when the ground is still wet.

Courtesy of www.in.com

ED:

What an unbelievable week for giant worm enthusiasts! For those who aren't in the know, the khorkhoy (хорхой), which means "blood filled intestine worm" is a cryptid long reported to exist in the Gobi Desert. It is generally considered a mythical beast; one whose sightings and reports are disputed, unconfirmed, or covered up. It is described as a bright red worm beast with a wide body that is 0.6 to 1.5 meters (2 to 5 feet) long and a bad attitude. It is the subject of a number of extraordinary claims by Mongolian locals—such as the ability of the worm to spew forth sulfuric acid that, on contact, will turn anything it touches yellow and corroded (which would kill a human), and its purported ability to kill at a distance by means of electric discharge.

Lets all wish Mr. Mackerle good luck on his quest. And if he finds a Mongolian Death Worm, I certainly would like one as a pet.

Mac

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