Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mythical Worms

If you have mythical bees and spiders, you've got to have mythical worms right?

Yes indeed.

Just for something totally random, today's post is on Legendary Worms....

Now, I feel I must state, for clarity's sake that todays post is about worms (ordinarily being invertebrate annelids, nematodes, or platyhelmenthes but also laval insects, maggots, etc). I do not however, refer to the mythical wyrm. This title (sometimes spelled wurm) refers to Dragons or Serpents. If you are interested in wyrms here's an interesting link. Wyrms may refer to the Lambton Worm / Sockton Worm / Laidly Worm/ Linton Worm - all of which are presumably dragon /serpent myths.

Worms or laval like creatures however do crop up occasionally within myth and most interestingly in cryptozoology - with many an varied sightings.

The Mongolian Death Worm -  olgoi-khorkhoi
Is a mythological creature that has gained cryptid status in the past 90 years. It is alleged to exist in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
It appears to be a creature commonly believed to exist by traditional inhabitants of the area. In  the 1920's an expedition was sent out to try and discover and capture one - naturally the expedition met with failure.
Commonly described as a red worm ranging from 2 ft to 5 ft in length with a thick body. It can kill at a distance, by either spewing acid, poison or an electric shock. Most interestingly, biologists who have studied the area cannot find an indigenous animal to equate the myth with - which makes the Mongolian Death Worm a particularly unusual cryptid. Click here for an interesting radio segment on the Death Worm.

Final Fantasy Minhocao.
The Minhocão
 Literally  means "big earthworm" in Portuguese. According to myth this is a giant subterranean worm-like cryptid, inhabiting the earth underneath South American forests. Described primarily as being enormous earth worms, there are reports of them also being aquatic. They apparently have some type of tentacle like appendage protruding from the head (I'm thinking slug and snail head here). The minhocão  has been reported to prey on large mammals, namely cattle, by suddenly capturing them from below the water.
The minhocão is known for the enormous tunnels it leaves behind. These tunnels suggest a diameter of up to ten feet. Its body length is stated to vary, from 75 up to 150 feet.
On occasion, the collapsing of houses has been blamed on the tunnels left by this creature. The creatures tunnels will sometimes flood, creating subterranean water bodies.
Gippsland Worm
The Minhocao is featured in the game "Final Fantasy" as a 'sand worm'.
It is perhaps important to note that giant earthworms - do actually exist - in Australia, Japan and South America. However, most notably, real giant earthworms (such as the giant Gippsland earth worm) may grow to as long as 4 meters, but their diameter almost always remains narrow (about 2 cm). This apparently has something to do with their ability to burrow.

Now, there is also a real creature known as a caecilian worm. They are found in tropical regions through out the world. Caecilians are a strange type of amphibian that superficially resemble earthworms. They are completely limbless, and can reach a length of up to 4 ft. They also have a toxin in their skin to deter predators. Their eyes are tiny and rather useless capable of sensing changes in light, rather than movement. The diet of caecilians isn't well know. Studies have shown unidentifiable plant matter and termite heads in their guts upon dissection. It is assumed they may be omniverous eating small invertebrates and plants.  I'll leave you to make up your own mind whether caecilians may be the antecedents to the giant burrowing worm myths.

Legendary human eating worms - although no where near as popular as vampires and werewolves, occasionally crop up in film and Video Games. My first encounter with them was watching "Tremors" a 1990 sci-fi-horror with Kevin Bacon (it was followed by a number of sequels.) There is also sandworms in the film BeetleJuice, as well as the giant lavae thing (Tanker worm) in the 1997 movie Star Ship Troopers. There are possibly many more.

If you are interested in reading more about worms - mythical or otherwise, here is an awesome article on about them  at Cryptomundo.
Additionally Youtube, as always, has some bizarre and disturbing images of worms / cryptids if ever you have the random desire to look up on any alleged 'sightings'.

On that note, have a fabulous week.
Tanker Worm - 1997 - "Starship Troopers"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manspiration IV

At the Australian Romance Readers Convention they showed a fantastic video montage of historical heroes, for inspiration.

Inspired by that, I did this one, with some of my favourite heroes from my favourite shows/books.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

What's up?

My apologies for paucity of blog posts of late but I have been writing like a maniac.

 I am currently working on 3 WIPs as well as the day job and family commitments -so, I've been uber busy.
There are several happening at the moment with my writing, and I will keep you posted if and when things become official.
Nicola E. Sheridan & Shona Husk at ARRC 2013 Brisbane.

A fortnight ago, I spent the weekend in Brisbane at the Australian Romance Readers Annual Conference. I had a blast. Along with meeting lots of awesome Aussie writers, I got to meet some great readers too. I can't recommend it enough - if you're an avid reader or aspiring writer these are the places to go. During ARRC, my friend and I did a tonne of brainstorming on future WIPS and I am totally inspired.

Then last week had the great fortune of going to the Australian Comic Conference, (Perth) which was terrific and as I'm sure most of you are aware, I actually got to meet Jason Momoa a huge manspiration for my writing.

I didn't take this photo, but that's what greeted me in the signing line....

In August 16-17 this year, I will be attending the RWA annual conference in Fremantle Western Australia - where I will be co-presenting a session with my great friend and fellow writer Shona Husk.


Our session is titled "Beating the Tsunami: Getting Ahead on Paranormal Trends" (we didn't choose the name!)
Here's the blurb for our session;
We’ve had sparkling vampires and alpha werewolves… So what else is there? Publishers are always looking for something new – so jump on board and explore the continents. Together we’ll discover new and exciting creatures that still hide in the mists of mythology – in the hope that they might just be the next big thing.

I will guarantee you, it will be fun... how could it not be when I'm there?! 

 Have a happy week!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Comic Con 2013 Perth

Nicola E. Sheridan (author) and Jason Momoa (actor)

The highlight of my year so far....
 Blushing smiley
I  met my number one Manspiration for my hero Lucian in Magical Redemption. Jason Momoa (you may or may not have noticed, has appeared several times on my FB manspiration posts usually in the form of Khal Drogo.... *sigh*) and today I met him (and incidently gave him a copy of Magical Redemption - which was only fair because he was the inspiration!). I then (as I am want to do) embarrassed myself by shaking his hand and proceeding to tell him "You are a very sexy man." To which he replied "Oh, thank you sweetie."
A confused smiley

You may be able to note from the image he is a big man. His hands were massive (all the better for holding his sword my dear!) Frankly my smile couldn't have got any bigger. I only wish I had I thought to ask him to pick me up and do  a cool pose for the picture - alas, I did not think of it at the time... though some other ladies at Comicon had the right idea!

He also signed my Khal Drogo doll, he'd never seen one of the "Pop" figurines before, so that was cool.

Although Comicon was great and the stalls and artists fantastic, I have to say I spent most of my time in lines. I've never been a fan of bovine cuing - so it did put a bit of a dampener on my excitement - not to mention that of my long suffering husband.

There were however some totally awesome costumes, from the requisite Jedi's to a large Bender (from Futurama). I even had the honour of spraying Leela's (also from Futurama) hair purple.
I was going to post some up here but they all seem to be uploading sideways....

I wanted this... autographed picture of "Al Swearengen" from my latest favourite show to watch "Deadwood"

Very cool stall!

  Anyhoo, I am now going to do some writing. Lordy me I'm inspired again.

Have a fantastic weekend.