X- T-, a yeduah farmer on the Northern edge of the Gobi desert has passed on a warning that death worms may be on the move outside of their traditional range. Apparently his crop was devastated by the worms, although he and his family are safe. Travellers in the area should be careful when walking on sand and avoid the colour yellow.
Mongolian death worms normally live deep in the Mongolian desert on the Mongolia-China border. They are red and often described as looking similar to a cow’s intestine, with it being difficult or impossible to determine which end is head or tail. There are many exaggerations about this creature, such as it being able to shoot electricity from its eyes. In fact it has no eyes, but it is deadly enough that the exaggerations are not needed. The worms can deliver a power electric shock on contact, enough to stun even a camel. With their prey prone and incapacitated they crawl over it, rapidly digesting the body with a powerful acid secreted from their skin. Death worms generally burrow deep underground, but may push up waves of dirt when travelling near the surface. They have been shown repeatedly to be attracted to yellow objects, but as they have no eyes it is currently unknown how they determine colour.
Normally active only in June and July, the worms may have been disturbed and pushed out of their normal range by climate change.
Yeduah, or cotton-lambs, are also worthy of a mention in the archive. They appear as a plant-animal hybrid, with the head and forelegs of a lamb which becomes clearly plant-like after the mid-torso, where a large leafy shrub is rooted firmly into the ground. The lamb part of the plant can move and will eventually graze a circle out to its full reach of about two metres from the roots. Once it has grazed and grown for as long as possible the yeduah is harvested, supplying the finest quality cotton known in the world and a gourmet lamb dish with syrup instead of blood. The use of cotton-lambs rather than common cotton plants is a trade secret of the reclusive Mongolian cotton industry.
Cotton lamb variants with a whole lamb attached to the plant umbilically were known in Europe as far back as the 1500s due to the efforts of explorers. It is believed by most scholars that these were fakes, perhaps based on rumours of the true plant, although some believe that they were simply a different cultivar of yeduah which was eventually replaced by the more efficient half-lamb.
One last reminder to be careful when travelling in the area north of the Gobi desert, especially if seeking the death worms purposefully. A fully sealed four wheel drive vehicle should be safe. Although the death worm acid is powerful enough to dissolve metal in a matter of minutes as long as the car is not bogged it will be easy to outdistance these burrowing cryptids.
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