Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island
Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

There are areas built to be left alone, untouched. What would you do if you wished to protect a place? Do you want to put a fence around that? Perhaps some dogs want to guard it? And if I tell you that mother nature has her ways of protecting a place like an island too? Today’s write up we’ll talk about one of the world’s most dangerous places: Ilha da Queirmada Grande, also known abroad as the Snake Island.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

Queimada Grande-The Island of the Snake

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

From the ocean, 90 miles off Sao Paulo, Brazil, Queimada Grande looks like an ordinary, beautiful island. A slice of paradise halfway through the Atlantic Ocean. But this is just an illusion. Despite the natural beauty, this island is not a holiday or adventure destination. Currently, it is one of the earth’s most dangerous areas.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

Let’s bring these together. Firstly, it’s a remote island, secondly, there are no beaches you can drop off, and thirdly, it’s packed with Golden Lancehead snakes, endemic to this island (yes, this species, one of the most poisonous in the world, you’ll only find there).

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

Yeah, when is the ending? If you ask me, stay away from this island is an obvious and palpable one! “.

The large population of dangerous snakes has made coexistence on the same island difficult for humans. The Brazilian government is strictly monitoring visits to Queimada Grande Island, due to the risk. This island is so dangerous that the Brazilian navy has prohibited even people to land there.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

Yet, how is it dangerous?

Let’s talk first of the snake population. Researchers say between one and five snakes per square meter live on the island, which is the largest concentration of venomous snakes anywhere in the world.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

And before you start thinking about the chances of getting bitten, you need to know that the effects of lancehead envenomations include swelling, local pain, nausea and vomiting, blood blisters, bruising, vomit, and urinary blood, intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, brain hemorrhage, and severe muscle tissue necrosis, yikes!

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

Profile of a Snake

The Bothrops Insularis, commonly referred to as the golden lancehead, is a venomous pitviper named for its underside, light yellowish-brown color, and head shape.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

They prefer to live on the trees, as opposed to their cousins on the mainland, the Bothrops jararaca, who are responsible for most deaths from snakes in Brazil.

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

The snake developed a powerful fast-acting poison because of the need to kill birds as quickly as possible (they don’t want their prayers to go far after bitten). The result of this evolution is venom five times stronger than that of its cousin on the mainland which can kill a man in an hour.

How did it come about?

In the beginning, this island, aging 55 million years, was connected to the mainland. But it became an island, separate from the continent, after the deglaciation (10 to 12 thousand years ago)

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

The snakes took over the island, without predators. But with the scarcity of food, these vipers, who were originally living on the ground, had to adapt and learn how to climb trees to get migratory birds to stop there to rest.

How did it come about?

In the beginning, this island, aging 55 million years, was connected to the mainland. But it became an island, separate from the continent, after the deglaciation (10 to 12 thousand years ago)

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

The snakes took over the island, without predators. But with the scarcity of food, these vipers, who were originally living on the ground, had to adapt and learn how to climb trees to get migratory birds to stop there to rest.

What is Numbers About?

People who went there in the 1900s used to say that it was common to see snakes everywhere, whenever. Nowadays, due in part to bio-piracy, it is not that easy to see as before. It is estimated that the population of the snake fell to about 2 thousand, though this is still an impressive number for such a small island (43 hectares).

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

The snake has been labeled critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of the overall low population of the Golden Lancehead. It was also placed on the endangered Brazilian animal list.

Final comments

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

You can try going there unless you feel lucky, adventurous, and don’t mind more than two thousand pairs of intimidating eyes lurking where you’re walking. Be conscious, however, that the island isn’t open to tourists, the Brazilian government offers licenses for research and other associated civic activities. But if I were you, I would certainly listen to the advice of Mother Nature and stay away from that island

Snake Island—The World's Deadliest Island

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