Is The Mongolian Death Worm Real?

In 1922, American paleontologist Professor Roy Chapman Andrews joined the American Museum of Natural History's Central Asiatic Expedition The museum had been told by the Mongolian government that there was a deadly, legless creature wreaking havoc across the Gobi desert

They called it the Mongolian Deathworm According to nomads, the terrifying creature can spit electricity long distances and kill large mammals with two bites Andrews failed to find the creature, and almost a century later, many experts are convinced it is real Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman has spent years studying the creature and says that there is no doubt it exists Is The Mongolian Death Worm Real? Sources: Live Science, Virtue Science, Mystery Files, Cryptidz, Augusta Chronicle The Deathworm’s Mongolian name, “Olgoï-Khorkhoï”, literally translates as “intestine worm” due to its visceral appearance

Legend says it is between 1 and 15 metres long, red-coloured, with razor sharp spikes protruding from its body at both ends It is said to live off rodents when larger prey is unavailable The creature is purportedly exoskeletal, shedding its skin when it is in danger It is most commonly seen following heavy rainfall

According to nomadic tribesmen, the creature gets its red colour after laying its eggs in a camel’s stomach As the eggs hatch, they take on the shade of the camel’s blood Most of this knowledge has been passed on through word of mouth According to the stories, the worm’s venom turns its victims a sickening shade of yellow Professor Andrews’ mission was spurred on by the Mongolian government

In 1922, the country’s Prime Minister described the beast: "It is shaped like a sausage about two feet long, has no head nor legs and it is so poisonous that merely to touch it means instant death" For a high profile figure to speak with such certainty about a legendary creature is unusual, and suggests there may be more to the rumours than meets the eye Recounting the expedition in 1926, Andrews described being given the task: “None of those present ever had seen the creature, but they all firmly believed in its existence and described it minutely” But Andrews was not the only adventurer to seek out the Deathworm Numerous expeditions have taken place

Cryptozoologist Ivan MacKerle, one of the leading experts on the Loch Ness Monster, traveled to Mongolia to search for the creature in 1990, 1992 and 2004 His team interviewed nomads who revealed local incidents involving the Deathworm In one, a local boy had been playing with a yellow ball Its colour attracted the creature towards him When the boy reached out to touch the worm, he was killed instantly

When his parents found the corpse, they recognised his symptoms and left to hunt the beast Tragically, they too were killed An elderly woman called Puret told Mackerle that she had never seen the creature herself, but had heard several frightening first-hand testimonies She said “[it] move[s] about under the sand, and when it wants to kill someone, it moves half of its length out of the sand and starts to inflate The bubble on its body keeps getting larger and in the end the poison squirts out from it

” On his final expedition, Mackerle experienced a new aspect to the Deathworm: its otherworldly powers On a visit to a Buddhist monastery Mackerle was warned by monks that the creature was filled with a “supernatural evil” that would destroy him if they came into contact The same night he had a disturbing nightmare about the creature When he woke up his back was covered in mysterious red, raw boils He believes this was caused by the Deathworm’s spirit

This alarming tale rings true to Richard Freeman, who believes that the reasons the creature has never been captured are purely political He claims it has never been found because Mongolia was under Communist rule between 1945 and 1990 During this period, the government criminalised searching for the worm, insisting that it did not exist and searching for it was a waste of resources However, geographical conditions may rule out any possibility that the Deathworm is real Critically, the Gobi Desert is too hot for annelids – or species of ringed worm – to survive

This means that if the Deathworm does exist, it cannot be a worm In this case, it is most likely a class of new burrowing reptile related to the worm-lizard or amphisbaenia Moreover, in 2005, researchers from the Centre of Fortean Zoology led an expedition across one thousand miles of the Gobi Desert to find out if the Deathworm was real Their findings suggested that it was most likely a large species of worm lizard Importantly, they also concluded that its supernatural abilities were likely apocryphal and had developed out of traditional Mongolian mythology

With so little evidence for its existence, it is unlikely that the Deathworm is real Given the number of expeditions that have been dedicated to finding it, it seems reasonable to expect some trace of it would have been found by now A lot of the evidence for it comes from nomadic legends passed down orally Can we really believe it is anything more than cultural folklore?

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