Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The mongolian death worm

In Search of the Mongolian Death Worm

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.
I've become a lot more skeptical of cryptozoology lately, and given the fact that it doesn't seem like anyone has ever reported actually seeing a death worm there isn't much reason to believe this one. The article is even weirdly contradictory:
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
Right. Even so, I think there's merit in searching for these things if only because a discovery might lead to conservation. There are undoubtedly a lot of totally bizarre creatures we killed off without ever even finding them, and the Gobi is a very big, very desolate and very sparsely populated area. Also, it's in China, and if you've ever been there you know what that means (it means there is all sorts of weird stuff in China).

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