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Mongolian Death Worm
350px-Allghoikhorkhoi

Origin

Gobi Desert

Diet

Cattle and Goats

Weapons

Teeth, Poison Slime, Acid Spit

The Mongolian death worm (Mongolian: олгой-хорхой, olgoi-khorkhoi, "large intestine worm") is a creature reported to exist in the Gobi Desert. It is generally considered a cryptid: an animal whose sightings and reports are disputed or unconfirmed.

It is described as a bright red worm with a wide body that is 2 to 5 feet (0.6 to 1.5 m) long.

The worm is the subject of a number of extraordinary claims by Mongolian locals - such as the ability of the worm to spew forth acid that, on contact, will turn anything it touches yellow and corroded (and which would kill a human), as well as its reported ability to kill at a distance by means of electric discharge.

Though natives of the Gobi have long told tales of the olgoi-khorkhoi, the creature first came to Western attention as a result of Professor Roy Chapman Andrews's 1926 book On the Trail of Ancient Man. The US paleontologist was not convinced by the tales of the monster that 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."


EtymologyEdit

The Mongolian name is олгой-хорхой (olgoi-khorkhoi) where olgoi means large intestine and khorkhoi means worm, so the full name means "intestine worm". The anglicized spelling of the name sometimes appears as allghoi khorkhoi, allerghoi horhai, or olgoj chorchoj. The name refers to the worm's alleged appearance.


AppearanceEdit

The olgoi-khorkhoi is said to resemble a cow's intestine. It is reported to be red in color, and is sometimes described as having darker spots or blotches. Sometimes it is said to have spiked projections at both ends. The worms are purportedly between 2 and 5 feet long, and thick-bodied. They are believed to somewhat resemble polychaetes, in many respects, looking much like a land-dwelling Bobbit worm.

In his book "On the Trail of Ancient Man" (1926), Roy Chapman Andrews (an American explorer, adventurer and naturalist who became the director of the American Museum of Natural History) cites Mongolian Prime Minister Damdinbazar who in 1922 described the worm allergorhai-horhai: "It is shaped like a sausage about two feet long, has no head nor leg and it is so poisonous that merely to touch it means instant death. It lives in the most desolate parts of the Gobi Desert…" In 1932 Andrews published this information again in the book "The New Conquest of Central Asia", adding: "It is reported to live in the most arid, sandy regions of the western Gobi". Andrews didn't believe that the animal was real.

Czech explorer Ivan Mackerle described the animal from second-hand reports as a "sausage-like worm over half a meter (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 but may have them on some occasions. Its colour is dark red, like blood or salami..."


Habitat and behaviorEdit

The worm is said to inhabit the southern Gobi Desert.The Mongolians say that the olgoi-khorkhoi can kill at a distance, either by spraying a venom at its predators or by means of electric discharge. They say that the worm lives underground, hibernating most of the year except for when it becomes active in June and July. It is reported that this animal is mostly seen on the surface when it rains and the ground is wet.

The Mongolians also believe that touching any part of the worm will cause instant death. Its venom supposedly corrodes metal and local folklore tells of a predilection for the color yellow. The worm is also said to have a preference for local parasitic plants such as the goyo.

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