The Mongolian death worm
Posted on Tuesday, 26 June, 2007 | 13 comments
Columnist: Daniel Harris
Allghoi khorkhoi, also known as the Mongolian Death Worm. Allghoi khorkhoi also means Intestine worm, because the worm resembles a cow’s intestines. It is bright red, two-four feet long and fat, just like a cows intestine. The Mongolians fear the worm and many consider just hearing the name of it bad luck. It is said to have the ability to kill people from several feet away, by either spraying a deadly poison or acid at the victim or by emitting electrical charges. Czech author Ivan Mackerle is the foremost investigator of the death worm, but because of the fear associated with the mere mention of the creature's name it makes it awfully hard to gather information. In addition this the Communist government kept the island isolated and outlawed all searches for Allghoi khorkhoi , which the government refers to as a “fairy tale.” Communism collapsed in Mongolia in 1990 allowing Mackerle the opportunity to mount an expedition to find the worm. Mackerle and his colleagues made friends with a couple of Mongolian nomads, that after a few bottles of Mongolian vodka were willing tell all they knew about the worm. The nomads said that the worm spits an acid that corrodes anything it touches turning it yellow. They also said the color yellow attracts more worms. They went on to tell the story of a young boy playing outside with a yellow ball. When the boy went inside the worm followed. The boy saw the worm and touched it and he was killed instantly. The boys parents found him dead and a trail in the sand leading away. They knew what had killed him and went off to kill the worm but instead the worm killed them.
Mackerle's group also encountered an old woman named Puret who had agreed to discuss the worm. "I have never personally seen the Allghoi khorkhoi," she said, "but I have heard much about it. It is said to move about under the sand, and when it wants to kill someone, it moves half 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."
If the Mongolian Death Worm is real it is highly unlikely it is a worm at all. Annelids and other related invertebrates are unable to survive in desert like conditions because their bodies retain moisture and they would quickly dry out. Perhaps it could be a worm that has adapted to the harsh environment of the desert, but most likely this is some sort of reptile, perhaps a snake. Mackerel had thought that maybe it was some sort of skink, a desert lizard that burrows deep in the sand with stubby legs and scales, unlike the reports of the smooth death worm. Also he said it may be a type of legless lizard, called worm lizards. Although these are not poisonous. Only the beaded lizard of Mexico and the gila monster of the southern states and Mexico are the only lizards that are known to have venom. It is also believed it may be a member of the cobra family. Many cobras posses the ability to spray venom, but not only couldn’t one survive in the desert, the venom the cobra sprays doesn’t kill, it only blinds.
There is also the matter of the Death Worms odd ability to kill from great distances with spraying venom. Some believe the worm to have some sort of psychic ability in that it is able to kill you by looking at you, while others believe, and it is more likely that the worm emits an electrical charge that kills it’s victim. Many fish, such as the electric eel, have the ability to produce electricity but of course none of these could live on land or even in the desert. The fact that it kills from a distance is most likely and exaggeration.
The worm itself is most likely fiction. The idea that there is a snake or reptile that lives in the desert and kills you as quickly as you see it is quite unlikely, unless, of course, it really is a species that hasn’t been classified before. Of course any animal that kills you in an instant could easily escape scientists. But then again if it kills so easily, how was anyone ever able to identify it in the first place. My personal guess would be that there is something out there that may have killed a few people or animals in a strange way and some drunk made up the story of a giant worm that kills you by looking at you.
Article Copyright© Daniel Harris - reproduced with permission.