Friday, Aug. 14, 2009

Mongolian Death Worm

In August 2009, two New Zealanders carrying a video camera and a sack of explosives set off to a remote corner of Mongolia's Gobi desert in search of a creature few believe exist. The Mongolian Death Worm is known locally as the Allghoi Khorkhoi, or the "intestine worm," because it is supposed to resemble the internal tract of a cow. (The accompanying picture is a sculptor's rendering of the beast.) According to legend, the worm lurks beneath the sand of the desert, pouncing on unsuspecting victims by shooting bolts of lightning and acid from what appears to be a teeth-lined rectum. The Kiwi duo intend to lure it to the surface with tremors set off by detonating their explosives. Once it emerges, they hope to capture the worm on film, though not in the flesh. "I have no intention of grabbing it, stuffing it or anything like that," says the expedition's head, David Farrier, wisely.