Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beware the Worm (or Wyrm, for ye olde scribes)!

The Mongolian Death Worm

It's name has it all: exotic location, death, repulsive noun. What better to strike fear into the hearts of travelers?



This would make a great creature for a book--but in a more threatening location, like New York City (Mongolian Death worms in the sewers, anyone?). I know SyFy did a movie already, but I don't know how good it was.

However, I believe this one is less "mystical creature" than "people spending too much time in the hot sun."

It actually reminds me of something that frightened me very much when I was younger: horsehair snakes.

My Kentucky kin used to share the story of how you could drop a horse hair into water and it would turn into a snake. They told me it was a myth, of course, but the snakes were real . . . and poisonous. One more reason for me to be scared of water! Now, of course, I know that horsehair snakes are really worms (a parasitic worm). Gross, but not scary. And perfectly harmless (but oh, you should have seen ten-year-old me run screaming out of the creek when a hair floated by)!

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