Posted by: Karl Shuker on April 23rd, 2014
A very curious type of vermiform mystery beast that may (or may not?) be allied to the notorious Mongolian death worm, but which is much less well known even in cryptozoological circles, has been reported from the steppes and desert dunes of Kalmykia. This is a region of Russia to the north of Chechnya and Dagestan, and lies immediately to the west of Kazakhstan.
(c) Tim Morris
It is said to be grey in colour, 20 inches long, and to resemble a short grey snake. Unlike any snake, however, it allegedly lacks bones – and according to the Kalmyks, if it is struck hard in the middle of its back with a stick, it explodes – leaving behind a patch of slime or grease stretching more than a metre (3 ft) in diameter across the ground as the only evidence of its former existence.
Further details regarding this mystifying but scarcely-known cryptid can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 21 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.