Mongolian Death Worm (olgoi-khorkhoi)
Mongolian Death Worm, in Mongolian olgoi-khorkhoi
“large intestine worm” because of its supposed resemblance to a cow’s
intestine)  is purportedly 0.6 to 1.5 meters (two to five feet)
long, bulky, vivid red in color, has no appendages and is incredibly
The "Death Worm" is said to make its home in the vastness of southern
Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.
Mongolians maintain it can kill at a distance, either by spitting
venom/acid or through some kind of electrical discharge. They say that
it burrows benath the earth, hibernating most of the year, emerging in
and July, to be seen above ground during or following rain when the
surface is wet.
The cryptid  was first introduced to the
“West” by Professor Roy Chapman Andrews  in his 1926 book “On the
Trail of Ancient Man” though he, like others that would follow, had
serious doubts about the worm’s existence:
explorer Ivan Mackerle, as a young man intrigued by tales of the
monster, has, following a number of unsuccessful expeditions (1990,
2004) apparently conceded that the “worm” if not an hallucination might
be some sort of psychological phenomenon possibly caused by the Gobi’s
In 2005 after drawing a blank with his
expedition, Richard Freeman, a zoological correspondent, concluded that
stories of the worm were apocryphal reported sightings possibly that
non-poisonous burrowing reptiles.
In 2006-2007 a reality
television series, “Destination Truth” known in the United Kingdom as
“The Monster Hunter” conducted an investigation and again the results
 It has also been suggested they
bear a resemblance to polychaetes, looking somewhat like a
Bobbit worm (a predatory aquatic polychaete worm which burrows into
soft or shaley ocean floor, waiting patiently, before launching
into action at the approach of prey with such ferocity that it's sharp
teeth can slice it's victim in half) or Amphisbaenidae a family of
amphisbaenians, commonly known as worm lizards, that are both rare and
carnivorous with interlocking teeth capable of inflicting tremendous
 The word “cryptid” was devised by Manitoban John E. Wall and first
used in the International Society of Cryptozoology Newsletter, Summer
1983. It basically refers to creatures that are hypothetical, presumed
extinct or for which there is insufficient proof to establish their
existence with absolute certainty.
 Roy Chapman Andrews was
an American explorer, adventurer, crack shot (courtesy of an early
upbringing in the wilds of Wisconsin) fossil hunter, naturalist and
writer during the early/middle 20th century, President of the
Explorer’s Club 1931 to 1934 and director of the American Museum of
Natural History 1935 to 1941.
Some sources claim he was the
inspiration for the Indiana Jones character (he did wear a fedora and
alledly hated snakes), but it is more likely that he and others like
him served as models for the heroes in the B films and matinee serials
of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, in turn inspiring Lucas and the other
writers of the famous movie franchise.
In 1942 Roy Chapman Andrews
retired to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, passing away in 1960. He is
buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Beloit, Wisconsin.
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