Back to Letterboxing

In Search of

The Mongolian Death Worm

Placed: 4-6-03
Placed By: WWW (Formerly known as Chuck and Molly)
Location: Mansfield Connecticut, Tolland County
Rated: Easy

Same starting point as Thomas Knowlton, Ashford CT

This box was made to be done on the way back to your car after doing the
Thomas Knowlton letterbox, Ashford CT.

If you are doing this single letterbox:
The letterbox is planted on the property of the Knowlton Hill Preserve owned by Joshua’s Trust. From the Storrs 4 corners (intersection of routes 195 and route 44) go 3.5 miles on route 44 east. Turn right onto Knowlton Hill Road. The small parking area is located 1 mile down the road just past the large beautiful private Victorian house with a copper roof on your left. The parking area holds 3 maybe 4 cars. This preserve is not used very much. I never had a problem parking here. You can also get to the preserve from the intersection of routes 195 and 89 in Mansfield Center by going down route 89 north 1.2 miles. Here you turn left onto Wormwood Hill Road. Continue on Wormwood Hill Road 4.8 miles to a fork. Take Knowlton Hill Road .5 mile to the preserve parking on your right. This hike round trip totals less than 1 mile.

Follow Knowlton Hill Road north from the parking area .3 miles to the yellow blazes on the left of the road. From here you are at the same point as the Thomas Knowlton Letterbox clues leave off.

From the end of the clues for the Thomas Knowlton Letterbox of Ashford:
Continue across the street in hunt of the Mongolian death worm. Follow the trail from the corner of a small barn, to a small field. Take a reading of 180 degrees. This is where the trail enters the woods, down a dirt road. The road goes 240 degrees passing a small pond on the north side of the trail. You come to a gate and a big field in front of you. Take the trail south, then along a barbed wire fence running west, and through a stone wall. Cross over a small stream coming through a cement pipe and see post number 10. The trail goes 160 degrees. Take 93 steps from the post along the straight trail. Stop and look 250 degrees to a large old tree with wide spreading branches 11 steps off the trail. Go behind that tree and find the Mongolian Death Worm letterbox under the flat rock behind the tree. After finding the box, go back to the trail and follow it at 160 degrees. It will take a turn and go 80 degrees. Keep walking as it goes uphill to the road and you will see the parking area you started from.

The Mongolian Death Worm

The Mongolian death worm, first reported in 1929 is also known as Allghoi Khorkhoi meaning intestine worm because of its shape. It is a fat, bright red huge worm measuring two to four feet in length and is likened to a cow’s intestine. It lives under the sand of the Gobi desert and is said to emerge during the hot months of June and July and to hibernate the rest of the year. The death worm is so feared by the inhabitants of Mongolia that they believe the mere mention of his name will bring bad luck. It kills it’s victims instantly by shooting a poisonous acidic liquid on them. The liquid, which the worm is able to shoot several feet, turns everything it touches yellow and corroded. It is also attracted to anything yellow. It is said to move about under the sand, and when it wants to kill someone, it moves half its length out of the sand. It starts to inflate it’s body. The bubble on its body keeps getting larger, and, in the end, the poison squirts out from it." This worm is also said to kill by emitting an electric shock that it also can send several feet. The worm became more widely known in 1990 by the Czech author Ivan Mackerle. He learned about it from a female student from Mongolia. The communist government in Mongolia banned any talk of death worm and tried to convince the people that it never existed. They also banned any expeditions in the area, calling the death worm, a fairy tale. After the fall of Communism in Mongolia in 1990, it was evident that they did not succeed in changing the minds of the people. Mackerle launched an expedition into the Gobi desert in 1990 in search of the worm but was unable to bring back any evidence except for more testimonials. Mackerle has reasoned that the creature might be a creature that is known as a skink. A skink is a strange variety of lizard whose head is hard to distinguish from its tail. Skinks also live buried under desert sands. But they have four stubby legs and scales, unlike the reportedly smooth-bodied Mongolian death worm. Mackerle has also suggested that it could be a type of lizard called the worm lizard, although that species is not poisonous. Among lizards, only the Mexican beaded lizard and the gila monster possess poisonous venom, but they do not squirt it, and their venom definitely is not instantly lethal on contact. It has also been suggested that the creature is some form of snake. The element of death from a distance and the intense heat of the Gobi Desert eliminates the possibility of most creatures. Could it be an unknown life form? Will one ever be captured? In the meantime, the legend continues. Find out more about the Mongolian Death Worm at the following websites.

Before you set out, please read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

Back to Letterboxes