Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Death worm and bloodworm

Like the Ouroborus, this post is circular, but instead of snakes we're talking worms. First, the news that a New Zealand TV journalist David Farrier and cameraman Christie Douglas have set out on a 2-week expedition through the Gobi Desert in search of the mythical allghoi khorkhoi, or Mongolian death worm. The rumored creature - and what reason do Mongolians have to lie? Farrier asks - is 1.5M long, jumps out of the sand, spits concentrated acid from the front, and shoots lightning from its rear. They will attempt to bring the worm, which is said to be attracted to tremors, to the surface with dynamite and capture it on film. The image of the death worm (top) reminded me of the bloodworm (center), a scary little creature that does exist. Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" learned about bloodworms when he went to Maine to help harvest them, but I was introduced to them by my housemate Jan, who was cutting them up for bait while surf-fishing in North Carolina. Bloodworms have a poisonous bite, contain more than the ordinary amount of copper, and give off nitrous oxide - laughing gas. Jan showed me how they extend their four jaws from their mouths to bite, which in turn reminded me of the monster in "Alien" (bottom). They say truth is stranger than fiction. Go, cryptozoology!

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