An interpretation of the Mongolian Death Worm by Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx.
The Mongolian death worm (Mongolian: олгой-хорхой, olgoi-khorkhoi, “large intestine worm”) is a creature alleged to exist in the Gobi Desert. Described as a bright red worm about a metre in length, it is generally considered a cryptid, an animal whose sightings and reports are disputed or unconfirmed.
Various claims are made about the worm by natives of the Gobi. Some say it has the ability to spew forth an acidwhich, on contact, will turn anything it touches yellow and corroded (and which would kill a man); others say it can kill at a distance by means of electric discharge.
The creature first came to Western attention as a result of Roy Chapman Andrews‘s 1926 book On the Trail of Ancient Man. The American 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.”