Mongols have lived in the vicinity of a mysterious creature for millennia. Tales about it, in parallel to the rules of conduct in the desert, were passed down by adults to their children one might say with the milk of their mothers. The first who told the world science and described the Mongolian death worm was the great Russian explorer N. M. Przhevalsky. Traveling through the unexplored regions of the Gobi Desert, he heard many times from the natives, stories of the worm Olgoi-Khorhoe.
Nikolai Mikhailovich tried to find an unknown to science creature, and in subsequent years will send several groups in search of him. But unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, they did not find the worm.
The Olgoi-Horhoe worm: what it looks like and how dangerous it is
The name of the creature is a reflection of its outer appearance: "olgoi" means large intestine, "horhoi" - worm. The description of the monster from ancient legends, and the evidence of modern eyewitnesses, coincide. Mongolian worm length of about 50-70 cm, sometimes there are mentions of worms in 1.5 meters, but the latter figure most researchers think exaggerated. It is about the thickness of a human hand. It has no head, eyes, and other distinctive features, the monster looks the same from all sides and it is impossible to understand where its back and front are. The color is red-brown, dark orange, there are mentions of yellow worms.
Olgoi-Khorhoy is poisonous, with its venom it spits at a distance. Others believe that it is not poison, but something like acid. In any case, the victim attacked by the mysterious creature dies instantly. In addition to the poison, the mysterious worm has a feature to emit powerful electric discharges. Local shepherds, farmers, never stick any objects in the ground. There have been recorded cases where sticking a pole, a support of a temporary residential structure, or other object in the sand, a person received a strong electric discharge. At the same time, the current has spread several meters around. No one could survive this shock.
According to the natives, if you hurt the monster, the liquid contained in it, in contact with some surfaces, including metal, reacts and partially even dissolves solid objects. The venom that the worm spits acts in a similar way.
Where does the poisonous worm live?
This dangerous monster lives in the sand dunes of the Gobi, less commonly found in the semi-desert zones of Mongolia. There are reports that it has been seen several times in China in the past, but there is no more or less objective information about Olgoi-Khorhoe on the territory of China. This giant worm moves under the surface at shallow depths. It manifests itself most often in the hottest months; it emerges on the surface after rain, when the ground is moist. Some researchers assume that the worm hibernates for several months of the year, and is active during favorable seasons.
Mongolia is a vast country, with the vast majority of its citizens living in the capital city. Most of the land is poorly explored and uninhabited steppes, semi-deserts, deserts, and forests. Thousands of years ago there was a lot of forest in Mongolia, but gradually the trees disappeared and desert areas took their place. Small islands of coniferous forest, in the middle of steppes and sands, can be seen today on the slopes of hills. They look very surprising, a forest in the middle of the lifeless wasteland. There is a hypothesis that in one of these woodlands, is the tomb of Genghis Khan. But to get to this forest, you have to travel hundreds of kilometers through lifeless semi-desert.
It gave birth to a legend, according to which Olgoi-Khorhoy is the guardian of the ruler's tomb, guards his peace, and punishes uninvited guests.
The mysterious creature in the desert
An interesting case took place in the second half of the 20th century. A group of Soviet soldiers were traveling along a desert road in a minibus UAZ. On the side of the road they noticed a previously unseen worm that was crawling over the surface of the ground. The visible part was 40-60 cm, the rest was hidden in the ground. The military poured kerosene around it and threw a match. Next came the explosion. The soldiers were lucky that they were standing a few meters away from the monster. No one expected such a result, because they had never heard of exploding worms before.
In 1954, a group of 6 American explorers in two off-road vehicles set out to explore the sparsely populated areas of Mongolia. According to some reports, the travelers were looking for the tomb of Genghis Khan. None of the explorers returned.
In Search of the Monster
Since the publication of the first information about the giant worm in the XIX century, hundreds of expeditions have visited Mongolia. To list them all and publish the results within this article is not possible (a very large volume will turn out), so we will try to summarize the main:
In the 20s of the last century, a large expedition led by zoologist R. Andrews worked in the Gobi Desert for over 3 years. According to its results, the researcher wrote a book "In the footsteps of ancient man," where he described in detail the killer worm.
From 1946 to 1949, a group of Soviet geologist and writer I. Efremov worked in the lost corners of Mongolia. He also published the book "The Road of the Winds," which includes information about Olgoi-Khorhoy.
In the 1990s, serious work in the deserts of Mongolia was carried out by Czech writer and journalist Ivan Makarle. He managed to collect a lot of evidence in favor of the real existence of the giant worm. The evidence was so great that the results of the expedition on television was launched a series of documentaries "Mysterious Monster of Mongolian Sands".
Today the search for the dangerous worm is being carried out mainly by enthusiasts and film crews of various TV channels. It should be noted that the Mongolian government is extremely reluctant to issue permits for activities in the regions where Olgoi-Khorhoy is supposed to live. And it's not about the monster itself, it's just that Mongolians consider some lands in these places almost sacred, according to their legends there is also the tomb of Genghis Khan, the search for which is opposed by almost the entire population of Mongolia.
Specialists involved in studying the phenomenon of the giant worm agree that the Olgoi-Khorhoy is a real creature, but has not yet been studied. Most believe that it is a giant ringed worm. The features that the monster possesses, according to researchers, are not surprising. Some modern snakes known to science spit venom. As for the electric discharges, the explanation is as follows: the worm accumulates electricity as a result of rubbing its body against the sand, while moving. It is not dangerous for the creature itself, but it poses a deadly threat to anyone who approaches the monster at a distance of 2-3 meters.