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From South and Central America to Asia, folklore tells tales of giant worms and serpents. These cryptids all have similarities and have left an impression on pop culture, influencing literature and films alike.

In the wet and warm areas of South and Central America resides the Minhocão. Local folklore claims it is a burrowing creature that resembles a worm or serpent, 20 to 50 meters in length, with scaly skin, a highly mobile jaw, and two tentacles protruding from its head. It is commonly blamed for collapsed houses and destroyed roads with reports claiming it has been seen dragging livestock underwater. While the earliest reports are from the 19th century, cave drawings and paintings from the ancient Mayans depict giant serpents consuming humans. There is a possibility that they exist deep in the unexplored forests of South and Central America, with rumored sightings being as recent as 2013.

At the mouth of the Amazon River is the Yacumama. The Yacumama is a sea serpent claimed to be the mother of all creatures of the water. Reportedly 130 feet long and 6 feet wide, it travels in channels it creates itself, knocking over trees and leaving craters in its wake. The Yacumama is able to consume anything that gets within 100 paces of it; the Natives would blow on a conch horn before entering the water, believing the serpent would show itself if it was present. There have been many sightings, including photo and video, of giant anacondas believed to be behind the legend of Yacumama.

Said to live in the most desolate areas of the Gobi Desert is the Mongolian Death Worm. These came to Western attention when paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews released his 1926 book, “On the Trail of Ancient Man.” Andrews interviewed many Mongolian officials, including Prime Minister Damdinbazar, who had never seen the worm but insisted they exist and described them in detail. They claim it lives underground, being 2 to 5 feet long, hibernating throughout the year except in June and July. Folklore claims the worm can kill at a distance, spraying a metal-corroding venom that at its prey. Merely touching the worm can cause almost instant death and tremendous pain.

While these creatures are chocked up to being mere legend, surviving golypdonts, or oversized anacondas and caecilians, the myths cannot be ignored. There are still many expeditions that have happened in recent years aimed at finding these cryptids.