About 33 kilometers off the coast of Brazil, in the South Atlantic Ocean, a small mountainous island popularly known as Snake Island is kept isolated from humanity for good reason: 400,000 of the world’s deadliest poisonous snakes live there, some of which are capable of melting the human skin.
History Of The Snake Island (Ilha de Queimada Grande)
With its 430,000 square meters, the Ilha de Queimada Grande is also known as the “Island of Serpents. ” The reason is explicit: Researchers and biologists estimate that in some places there is up to one snake per square meter.
Since the sea level rose about 11,000 years ago and cut the island’s contact with the mainland, snakes have developed in a different way: they are five times more poisonous than their mainland relatives.
They hunt and eat birds but not the native birds of the island because they already know how to flee from their attack rather they hunt larger migratory birds which made their venom became more powerful.
As for a large number of snakes, it is explained by the fishermen of the area that it was pirates of yesteryear who filled the place with snakes to protect a treasure that they hid there.
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But of course, that’s just a legend. Like the one that tells that a fisherman, having lost his engines, was pushed by the current to the coasts of Ilha de Queimada Grande. When the boat was finally found, there was nothing left of the man but torn clothing, blood, and bones, undoubtedly the work of the island’s most infamous tenant: the “golden spearhead” ( Bothrops insularis ), whose poison can rot the flesh. down to the bone.
To conclude, it should be noted that what really makes Ilha de Queimada Grande worthy of dedicating an article on this website is that —beyond the unverifiable legends— no one until now has managed to explain how or why this incredibly density of snakes mortals ended up on an island.
In the last twenty years there have been only a handful of scientific expeditions, but none managed to come up with a satisfactory explanation.
Today the waters surrounding the island are patrolled by the Brazilian navy with a strict policy of restricting access, which can only be bypassed with a special government authorization.