RAUK - Archived Forum - Mongolian Death Worm

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Mongolian Death Worm:

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Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 24 Jun 2005

Erm Okay, dunno if this is just a plain con-trick, or possibly the worst organised and published attempt at a legitimate expedition I have ever seen, either way, it gave me a giggle, anybody know anything about the mythology of such a beastie ?

http://www.cfz.org.uk/projects/deathworm.htm


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 25 Jun 2005

I liked this one

http://www.cfz.org.uk/projects/britcrocs.htm

I wonder if they will help me get funding to search for the fabled 'kent ferret' that my loving partner tried to convince me existed when I first started to survey for herps in Kent


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
-LAF
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
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Posted: 25 Jun 2005
I know it seems like the crankiest thing since a Scottish girl in drag named Jimmy, but I've always had a soft spot for cryptozoology. Stephen J Gould wrote in unweaving the rainbow that the criticism often levelled at science and scientists is, that to paraphrase the quote from Hamlet "There are more things in heaven and earth...,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy", to which the scientist should be able to respond with "Yes, but we're working on it!".

Okay, so perhaps the searching for the Mongolian death worm, whether harmless amphisbaenian, venomous snake, or simple fantasy, isn't the most important investment of time and resources, it does sound like good fun to go blatting across Mongolian deserts in search of one! And, contrary to what the Scottish tourist board will tell you, it's a lot more likely than Nessie...

The search for the extinct or undiscovered goes on all the time, we've recently rediscovered Ivory Billed woodpeckers, a have finally found the moth with the 12 inch long tongue that Darwin hypothesised to Joseph Hooker in 1862! Starnger thing have, and will happen.

Anyway, that's any semblance of credibility I may have blagged out of the window BTW - first read about the so called "death worm" about 8-10 years ago, it's definately a long established belief among certain peoples out there. As for it being deadly... well, according to Stephen Spawls, the Kenyans once beleived the sand boa (Eryx) to be s lethal that, if bitten, you'd take a few steps and collapse dead! Similalry in western Africa, the people of the Dem. Rep. Congo believed, for superstitious reasons, that the moles were easily the most terrifying creatures you could wish never to encounter. Peoples all over the world have deep seated dreads of subterranean animals, and in virtually every case they're unfounded, but they still persist!

Lee.-LAF38528.3612962963
Lee Fairclough
-LAF
Senior Member
Joined: 03 Apr 2003
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Posted: 25 Jun 2005
Oh yeah, don't forget to check out te expedition log on: http://cryptoworld.co.uk/category/death-worm/



Lee.
Lee Fairclough
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 25 Jun 2005

Dear all

Well in the UK people believed the Slow worm to be dangerous with the 'Blind worms' 'sting' cropping up in Shakesepare's Macbeth.

The word slow is derived from the old english 'to kill' which is sla-y and worm is wrym (i think)

 

 

JC


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Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 25 Jun 2005

The full press debrief of the Davies expedition is actually quite good....

http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/182_deathworm1.shtml

Decent scentific principles whith a touch of flair in the write up, and more importantly, sounded damn good fun !

Sign me up for the Kent Ferret hunt !


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Mervyn
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Posted: 26 Jun 2005

Oh ye of little faith

 

The last known sighting (by me) was in my youth during the last century.

 

I remember there was a spot in the Gravesend marshes on the river bank where stood a Pub (name forgotten) and a caravan beside the ôFireflyö mooring.

 

It was a long walk from Gravesend pier along an occasionally used sometimes gravelled path through the marshes to arrive at the pub. At many points the path rose to eye level.

 

The ôKent ferretö being a nocturnal creature could occasionally be seen lying on the top of the banks, at first all you saw when returning from the pub were the eyes of the animal, coldly staring at you as you entered its realm whilst stumbling along the uneven path. Slowly it would rise to its full height, a mere six inches and glare at you sometimes emitting a low hiss. Its eyes were a very bright yellow with horizontal black slits unlike your adder whose slits are vertical.

 

It would not stay in sight for long and quickly disappear into the reeds of the marshes. Personally I never tried to follow as the marshes could be quite dangerous in bad light whilst on foot. Of course if one was using flat boat to reach the pub via the waterways sightings of the Kent ferret were more frequent.

 

Personally I found the best time to see this animal was on the evening of the fourth Wednesday of the month.

 

Details of funding requirements for an expedition to trace the Kent Ferret before its possible extinction due to proposed building of the Thames gateway housing can be provided if requested.

 

 

 

 

Mervyn38529.3349074074
Mervyn J. COTTENDEN, CPA
Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 26 Jun 2005
ROFL! - I'll have a pint of what that man's drinking !
Steve Langham - Chairman    
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GemmaJF
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Posted: 26 Jun 2005
Please Steve, DO NOT encourage him
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Caleb
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Posted: 27 Jun 2005
[QUOTE=herpetologic2]

The word slow is derived from the old english 'to kill' which is sla-y and worm is wrym (i think)


[/QUOTE]

No-one really knows what it's derived from, and the word's so old that it's unlikely ever to be resolved. My copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Etymology says:

"slow-worm small lizard, Anguis fragilis. OE. slāwyrm; the first el., which has been assim. to SLOW, is of uncert. orig."

The only place I've seen 'slay' suggested as the origin is in Malcolm Smith's book:

"The origin of the name Slow-worm has been disputed. It has been suggested that the term Slo-worm as used in Middle English, was derived from the Anglo-Saxon slaw, to slay- the slayer of worms. This, however, does not take cognisance of the use of the word worm in early times. Wyrm is Anglo-Saxon in origin, becoming werm or wurm or worm in Middle English. It was then used for any snake-like creature. Shakespeare's use of the word worm certainly applied to the snake and not the earthworm. Slo-worm is surely only an abbreviation of Slowe-worm and is an appropriate title for the animal. When compared with a snake its movements are undoubtedly slow. The name Blind-worm, hardly ever used to-day, no doubt arose on account of the small size of the eye, when compared with the eye of a snake."

It's really just conjecture, though. Unless any Anglo-Saxon (or older) documents are discovered that clarify it (which seems very unlikely), it'll continue to remain a mystery.

Incidentally, older literature also uses the name 'deaf-adder' and I've seen one reference to 'sheep-snake' for the slow-worm.

- Mongolian Death Worm

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