Beast Hunter – Mongolian Death Worm – S01E05


Mongolian Death Worm

The Mongolian death worm is rumored to live in the Gobi Desert, one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet. This freakish creature is said to spray acid, send out electric shocks and explode when threatened. After traveling to the vast, empty wilderness, Spain dives in with the locals to garner some leads. To impress them, he finds himself in over his head- literally – fighting one of Mongolia’s top wrestlers.

For this adventure Pat is trying to track down the creature known as the Mongolian Death Worm. A huge worm that is said to shoot acid, electrocutes its victims, is toxic to the touch and might exploded when people try to capture it. It’s one of the oddest creatures out there and if the rumors are to be believed, the most dangerous.

Mongolia is not for the faint of heart. It’s a vast desert where only those who know what they’re doing will survive. To try and gain the friendship of the locals Pat indulges in some Mongolian wrestling. As you expect this goes very badly. Not only is the outfit not something you want to look directly at, but Pat is a really crappy wrestler and gets tossed to the ground with relative ease. But he takes it all in good stride and does gain some favor with the natives. Perhaps they take pity on the skinny, pale foreigner.

They tell him many stories of the Death Worm. A witness says he and some others came across the beast and when trying to kill it, it exploded. Keep in mind they were trying to kill it with gasoline so who knows what kind of explosion they were setting up for themselves. Gasoline and the heat of the desert, what could go wrong there?

Another witness claims to have seen the worm as well. She describes it as a big sausage and stayed away. She’d heard too many stories about how deadly it was to get close. Pat shows her several pictures of animals and she says she knows the difference between the local snakes and the Death Worm.

To figure out what people might be seeing, Pat consults with a local scientist. He believes there could be something like the Death Worm, but he also feels that people could be seeing local snakes. Giant earthworms do exist that grow to be several feet long and several inches around. However, they don’t have the deadly killing powers people attribute to the Death Worm.

To understand why the Death Worm may be toxic to the touch, Pat heads out with a guide to search for a plant called the goya. This is a native plant and could be a food source for the worm. It is in fact toxic, but ironically both Pat and the guide eat some. I agree with Pat, the idea of eating and swallowing a toxic plant doesn’t really sound like a good idea. Death would be on my mind as well.

His guides take Pat to a Mongolian BBQ where the men tell stories of the deadly worm. It should also be mentioned they ladle out the homemade vodka. Homemade hooch and storytelling, what could possibly go wrong?

The men claim the death worm can spit acid as well as blood. It also has an electrical charge that kills people. As they keep drinking the Death Worm is pretty much capable of anything and everything.

The next day Pat heads out into the desert to where sightings have occurred. He sets up trap cameras and when night falls he heads out with a thermal imager. There is no shortage of wildlife with lizards, rabbits and plenty of snakes. He starts to play with a cricket and swears he can feel an electrical charge on his skin.

As an experiment he tries to build up a static charge like the Death Worm. He proves it is possible. Is it enough to kill someone? Perhaps not, but it might be able to give them a pretty big jolt. And there is the electric eel which produces its own electrical charge so obviously such a thing does exist in nature.

After the sweep of the area at night Pat heads back to check his trap cameras. They have been knocked over and one is completely broken. There are numerous new holes in the dirt as well. Taking it at face value it might be possible to conclude the Death Worm ruined the camera and then buried itself back in the desert. But Pat looks deeper and does have some unusual footage on one of the cameras. At first it looks quite shocking and unusual. But as it plays he realizes that it is nothing more than a cow knocking over the camera. It does make the point that seen from a different angle even the most ordinary things look completely alien.

As a final experiment Pat is taken to a shed where some men have caught a rat snake. It has many tinges of red so it can blend in with the red earth of the area. It has similar markings to what people claim for the Death Worm. Could a fat rat snake be the culprit?

In the end Pat doesn’t get any hard evidence to support the claim of the Death Worm. But, if you take the traits individually there are animals in nature that it could be. There are frogs that shoot blood from the eyes. The electric eel which packs a mighty punch. Plenty of toads and frogs are toxic to the touch. And earthworms that could actually be the right size. Oddities like this are out there, they just aren’t there in one package.

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