|Roy Chapman Andrews in Mongolia, 1920s|
In 1926, Andrews published a book on the adventures called On the Trail of Ancient Man, which I am lucky to have a copy of.
Along with their discoveries, Andrews also recorded something else in that book, something of a decidedly cryptid nature. He wrote:
"Then the Premier asked that, if it were possible, I should capture a specimen of the allergorhai-horhia. I doubt whether any of my scientific readers can identify this animal. I could, because I had heard of it often. None of those present ever had seen the creature, but they all firmly believed in its existence and described it minutely. It is shaped like a sausage about two feet long, had no head nor legs and is so poisonous that merely to touch it means instant death. It lives in the most desolate parts of the Gobi Desert, whither we were going. To the Mongols it seems to be what the dragon in to the Chinese. The Premier said that, although he had never seen it himself, he knew a man who had and had lived to tell the tale. Then a Cabinet Minister stated that 'the cousin of his late wife's sister' had also seen it. I promised to produce the allergorhai-horhai if we chanced to cross its path, and explained how it could be seized by means of long steel collecting forceps; moreover, I could wear dark glasses, so that the disastrous effects of even looking at at so poisonous a creature would be neutralized. The meeting adjourned with the best of feeling; for we had a common interest in capturing the allergorhai-horhai. I was especially happy because now the doors of Outer Mongolia were open to the expedition."
Anyone with an interest in cryptozoology will notice that what Andrews describes sounds exactly like the Mongolian Death Worm, said to be poisonous and also to be able to electrocute people! (So maybe grabbing it with steel forceps wasn't the best idea!)
A cool cryptozoological tidbit from an author I already liked!
And - if anyone is interested in checking this out in Andrews' book itself, the relevant portion can be found on pages 103-104. But be sure to be very careful with the old book! (91 years old now.)