Is the Legend of Mongolian Death Worm Possible from the Scientific Perspective?


Mongolian death worm is an American science fiction film released in 2010. Although it is not very well made and its creativity is a little old-fashioned, it still arouses people’s fear of the threat from unknown creatures in the earth. But could this animal actually exist?

(1) By what do the Mongolian Death Worm breathe?

Humans are bugs? This is Trisolaris’ derogatory name for human beings. Of course, from the perspective of Body structure, we are not, but Trisolaris may be a real worm. Although the appearance of “Trisolaris” is never really introduced in the novel “The three-body Problem”! But in our definition of biology, insects still have a clear boundary, narrow sense is the invertebrate arthropod division of the class of insects, broadly speaking, including most of the class of insects and arachnids and protozoa in flagellate and tapeworm, etc. Worms have several characteristics:


1. From the egg hatching to the adult, the morphology is changeable;

2.There is no skeleton inside the body;

3.Insects are encased in chitin and segmented to facilitate movement;

4.There are no specialized organs for oxygen exchange, such as lungs, but there are breathing methods such as trachea or body wall with trachea gills and air bubbles as well as air membrane. Because of the efficiency of the oxygen exchange, insects can’t grow too big, or they must evolve specialized breathing and powerful hearts (insects generally have tubular hearts) to pump blood! Because tubular or valve breathing is fine for small insects, but it can be greatly hindered if the insect is large!

(2) Have giant insects ever existed in geological history?

Of course, the air oxygen content of carboniferous period reached more than 35%, and the respiratory organs of insects did not need further evolution to meet the needs of their huge bodies. Therefore, at that time, 2-3m centipedes and Millipede were very common, and dragonflies had a length of more than 0.7m! Believe that other insect body shape must also be very scary, maybe there was a time when such a species as “Mongolian Death Worm” appeared, because any insect in the size of 2-3m, even a harmless mung bean Worm will scare you to run away! Whatever this worm does can threaten your survival!

(3) Is it possible to have insects that big in modern oxygen conditions?

At present, the earth’s oxygen content has been maintained at around 21%, even though the burning of a large amount of fossil fuels since the industrial era has not significantly changed this ratio. From the point of view of oxygen content, it is very difficult to exist super large insects, not for any other reason, too large will be suffocated! This insect is not a threat to people at all. Let’s take a look at the various survival features of the legendary “Mongolian Death Worm” :

1. It is usually lurking under the sand.
2. Launch an attack when humans approach.

But we don’t know anything about their eggs or how they hatch and grow. So is it possible for this creature to survive? Itself insufficient oxygen exchange, for example, lurking under the sand, it is killed it, and under the sand action is difficult, need to consume large amounts of energy, unless there is a passage in the semi-hard soil for access. Such a large amount of activity must require a large amount of energy supply, otherwise it would take decades to catch a passing prey in the desert and starve to death.

So from the scientific point of view, it is difficult for Mongolian Death Worm to survive in the modern environment. This creature is as illogical as a Hollywood movie.

(4) Super huge worm on the seabed – Bobbit Worm

Bobbit Worm has been found in warm waters around the world. As early as the 19th century, marine biologists realized that this may be the longest polychaete species, with the length up to 3M, the body weight of more than 0.5KG, and the diameter of up to 2.5CM. Although it is more than 3M in length, it is not enough to threaten humans if it is non-toxic!


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