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Snake Island - The DEADLIEST Island in the World!

Published on 21 Feb 2020 / In Travel & Events

This mysterious island is so dangerous that Brazil has deemed it illegal for anyone to visit. Infested with of thousands of the deadliest snakes in the world, Ilha da Queimada, also known as ‘Snake Island’, is truly something that nightmares are made of. Here are 11 terrifying facts about Snake Island.

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11. There are Between 1-6 Snakes every 3 Feet
Researchers have determined that an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 golden lancehead vipers roam Snake Island, which means that somewhere on this earth there are an isolated 430,000 square meters of land infested with snakes.

10. Pirates ‘Rrr to Blame
According to one tale, pirates buried their treasure on Ilha da Queimada Grande and in an attempt to keep it safe, planted the venomous snakes to stand guard.

9. They Have No Predators
The golden lancehead viper’s diet consists mainly of birds that stop to rest during long modes of migration. The sneaky serpents hide out in the trees of the rainforest and patiently wait for the birds to venture near.

8. Venom is Our Friend?
According to recent studies scientists have determined that the toxins from a golden lancehead viper can be used to make medicine. This has perpetuated a growing interest in the species, as tests are showing that the venom can be used for pharmaceutical purposes and has shown promise with ailments such as heart disease, blood circulation, and blood clots.

7. They’re Endangered
The golden lancehead viper is considered an endangered animal by the Brazilian government. A very venomous creature requires careful protection from the government despite their power to do catastrophic harm with one bite.

6. The Island’s Real Name Might be Worse
The island is a paradise— with its mild temperatures, crystalline sandy beaches, lush rainforests, sparkling cliffs, and majestic mountains. While most call it Snake Island, the real name translates roughly from Portuguese to “slash and burn fire” or “big burnt island.”

5. Ghosts of the Past
Someone had to man the operation and in the early 1900s, a lighthouse keeper and his family did just that. As legend would have it, the family woke one night and ran in terror after snakes began crawling in through their windows. Later, their lifeless bodies were found scattered across the island.

4. The Fisherman and his Boat
Legend has it that a fisherman’s boat wandered off course before stumbling upon the murky quiet of an unknown island abode. At first, the fearless sailor was counting his lucky stars, as he began plucking at the surplus of bananas which grew there. Suddenly a snake snuck from the trees and took the man by surprise.

3. The Whole Island is Outlawed
Anyone who does so is by law required to bring a doctor alongside. Scientists have determined that a bite from a golden lancehead viper carries with it a 7% chance of survival, due to the potency of venom alone, and a 3% chance based on the nature of isolation and distance from help. Once bitten the venom will quickly consume its victim, causing immediate kidney failure, muscle tissue dystrophy, and even repercussions in the brain. Due to these risks alone, the Brazilian government put a ban against anyone entering its grounds.

2. The Black Market
Smugglers have been known to sneak to the island to trap snakes and sell them for a hefty profit on the black market. These beauties can range anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 dollars, yet there are many risks involved with going to the island to get them.

1. Skin-Melting Venom
The golden lancehead’s venom is so potent it is 5 times more deadly than that of their mainland counterparts (save for a few exceptions, as the lancehead viper isn’t the most venomous in the world, though it is one of them). Their venom is so powerful it has been shown to melt human skin on contact. While the likelihood of survival from this type of snakebite is very good if treated quickly, there aren’t any resources on the island to cure such an untimely attack.

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