A group of English scientists are to spend a month in the hostile Gobi desert in search of one of the world's strangest and most elusive monsters, the Mongolian Death Worm. Known to the locals as Allghoi khorkhoi (Mongolian for intestine worm due to its resemblance to a length of cow's stomach), the blood red creature is much feared.
Three to five feet long, the Death Worm is said to lurk beneath the sands, emerging only at certain times of the year to spread fear among the desert dwellers. The nomads insist that the beast can spit a corrosive yellow saliva that acts like acid and that they can generate blasts of electricity powerful enough to kill a full grown camel. It is a monster worthy of Dr Who but how true are the stories?
Expedition leader, cryptozologist Richard Freeman thinks it's death dealing powers are apocryphal. "It's like the salamander in medieval Europe, it was thought to be deadly poisonous. Alexander the Great was supposed to have lost hundreds of men after they drank from a stream that had a salamander living in it. But now we know it's harmless. Even today in the Sudan, people think that the harmless sand boa is so venomous that you only have to touch it and you will die."