Why Snake Island Is The Most Dangerous Place In The World
Known as "Ilha da Queimada Grande", Snake Island is such a dangerous place, the Brazilian Government has banned anyone from visiting it.
What Is Snake Island?
Administered as part of the municipality of Itanhaém in the State of São Paulo, Snake Island is covered by bare rock and rainforests with its land size only small in nature.
This tiny island, located off the coast of Brazil in the Atlantic Ocean seems to be just like any other regular uninhabited island but it hides a dark, dangerous and deadly secret.
Currently the only known natural home of the critically endangered and highly venomous golden lancehead pit viper, these snakes mostly feed on birds that wander into their territory.
How Did The Snakes Arrive?
Following the end of the last Ice Age, the snakes became trapped on the island when rising ocean levels disconnected it from the mainland.
As this was a completely new environment, they began to thrive after finding an almost continuous food source through the birds.
The snakes later adapted to their new environment, increasing rapidly in population and rendered the island dangerous to anyone visiting.
Why Is Snake Island So Dangerous?
Closed to the public in order to protect both people and the snake population, the islands danger comes mainly from the sheer amount of poisonous snakes that inhabit it.
Previously thought to have a population of about 430,000 snakes, more recent investigations have, thankfully, found this to be much lower, being in the region of two to three thousand.
The snakes are highly poisonous and have the ability to kill thousands of people if they ever step foot on the island.
Its understood that the venom is so powerful from the snakes that anyone being bitten would most certainly die screaming.
Can Anyone Visit The Island?
The island has been completely closed to the public by the Brazilian Navy and only a select number of people can visit and they must have permission beforehand.
Some of the people who are allowed to visit Snake Island include research teams who receive waivers to collect data and members of the Navy who maintain the lighthouse on a yearly basis.
Protected by a special Area of Relevant Ecological Interest, Snake Island features an automated lighthouse and was once the site of major deforestation efforts.
What Snakes Live On The Island?
Several species of snakes live on the Island but the most venomous are the Golden Lance Head Viper.
The vipers have the ability to cause a 7% fatality rate without medical attention and even with anti-venom, you still have a 3% chance of not making it.
Symptoms of a Lance Head bite include intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, heart attack and other grim side effects.
Other snakes also inhabit the island, including the Tiger Snake and Gloydius Shedaoensis and Snake Island also has giant cockroaches and locusts.
For every 1-3 square feet you can can expect to find roughly five snakes and these can be either on the floor or in the trees with your chances or reaching the center of the island on foot alive almost zero.
Snake Island Rumors?
Several rumors do exist about Snake Island and one of these is that people have actually died there which is completely un-true as no one has ever been killed on the island from a snake bite.
Another rumor circulating recently is that Snake Island was seized by Russia as part of its war in Ukraine which is also un-true and involves a completely different island off its coast.
While the terror portrayed in the media about Snake Island swallowing people whole in a pit of snakes, in reality it is home to a declining species of snakes that are one of the most endangered in the world.
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