Deserts, as a general rule of thumb, are pretty shitty places to live. There’s very little to drink beside camel spit and your own tinkle, the dust gets in your eyes, and if you’re foolish enough to go wandering into the depths of the southern Gobi, there’s a chance you’ll be electrocuted by a five-foot worm the colour of blood. And that’s if you’re lucky and it chooses to zap you instead of vomiting toxic acid straight into your gawping face.
The local name for the Death Worm is olgoi-khorkhoi, which translates literally as “large intestine worm”, because it’s pretty much universally described as looking like a fat chunk of cow guts hopped up on steroids. Local legend claims it can spit acid capable of corroding metal and killing a man on contact. Generally one genetic death-cannon is enough for most species but not the MDW; it’s also rumoured to be able to blast your balls clean off with a veritable hadouken of pure electricity. Mongolian folklore also firmly affiliates the worm with the colour yellow, claiming it stains everything it death-phlegms over a golden hue, presumably making it the archenemy of the equally apocryphal Green Lantern Worm. If you didn’t get that joke then well done you – you’ve probably got an actual functioning social life and everything.
Oh, and just in case a writhing coil of colon capable of melting your face off from several feet away wasn’t enough, the olgoi-khorkhoi also burrows underground, meaning it could potentially pop up just about anywhere before shuffling you right off this mortal coil. Normally there’d be one man for the job of protecting us all from underground worm-monsters but Kevin Bacon is now tragically too busy making awful adverts and fucking his cousin to help anyone.
Sadly, there hasn’t been much luck in the hunt for a verifiable example of the worm. Expeditions by zoologists and TV crews in 2005 and 2009 didn’t get much more than the usual local folklore, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that if there’s any chance of something dangerous with the initials W, M and D lurking in the desert, it’s better to be safe than sorry and we should bomb the living shit out of the area regardless.