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The Tatzelwurm ( Stollenwurm ) Cryptid | Legged Worm

Tatzelwurm

The name Tatzelwurm (legged worm or reptile worm) comes from Old German, Tatzel meaning paw and Wurm, worm. It is a legendary Alpine lizard sporting two or four legs and is also commonly called Stollenwurm. This cryptid has been the subject of regular observations since the 15th century and has terrorized more than one hiker.

A small dragon or a salamander

The Tatzelwurm or legged worm is often described as covered with scales, but at other times it appears to have a coat. It would resemble a snake, or else a mammal, occasionally endowed with a cat's head. Some stories attribute Stollenwurm a height of 30 centimeters, others of 1 meter. The legged worm, small dragon or salamander, however seems to be an aggressive animal which attacks men and beasts. It nests in caves and galleries which it digs in the rock. Tatzelwurm is said to emit toxic fumes and even spit fire. According to some accounts, it emits a poisonous drool and its skin is also venemous.

Tatzelwurm went unobserved for almost fifty years

Similar creatures have been seen all over Europe. In 1924, two hikers found a 1.20 meter long skeleton of this legendary reptile worm. This skeleton has unfortunately been lost. The photos taken were all designated as hoaxes. One of the last sightings dates from 1954, near Palermo in Sicily. Peasants saw a creature with hind legs and a cat's head attacking a herd of pigs.

Heuvelmans assumes that the legged worm is a relative of the Heloderma (Heloderma suspectum) or the giant Japanese salamander, the Megalobratachus. Other cryptozoologists suspect a kinship with Ophisaurus apodus, a footless lizard.

Is it possible that the ecosystem of a creature living at our doors is reduced to such an extent by tourism and urbanization that it has disappeared before our eyes? Cryptozoologists, however, assume that specimens of Tatzelwurm are still hiding in the secrecy of the mountains.