It sounds like a fantastic, lethal creature that might be found in a 1950s pulp science-fiction novel (or sci-fi television movie), but some people believe that a large, deadly worm-like creature called the Mongolian Death Worm exists in the Gobi desert.
According to British biologist Karl Shuker in his book “The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Paranormal Mysteries” (2002, Metro Books) “One of the world’s most sensational creatures may be concealed amid the sands of the southern Gobi desert. …
It is said to resemble a large fat worm, up to 1 meter (3 feet) long and dark red in color, with spike-like projections at both ends.
It spends much of its time hidden beneath the desert sands, but whenever one is spotted lying on the surface it is scrupulously avoided by the locals.”
According to legend, the dreaded Mongolian Death Worm — which local people call olgoi-khorkhoi or loosely translated, “large intestine worm” — has lived up to its name.
It can kill in several fearsome ways, including spitting a stream of corrosive venom that is lethal to anything it hits, and if that doesn’t do the trick it is said to be able to electrocute its victims from a distance.
Rarely seen and never photographed, it was mentioned in a 1926 book by paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, who didn’t believe in the animal’s existence but noted that stories of it circulated in Mongolia.