There are many dangerous places in the world, but there is probably no other location in the world that would kill you quicker than Snake Island!
The island is about 33 kilometers of the coast of Brazil near the city of Sao Paulo, and is officially called Ilha da Queimada Grande. The island is very tiny, it's just about 0.5 square kilometers big, and nobody currently lives on it, except for tons and tons of snakes!
It's easy to see where the name comes from and why it is exactly so dangerous. The snakes on the island are both an endangered species and extremely venomous, and for those reasons the Brazilian government has made it illegal for anyone to visit the island without authorization. The only people allowed to set foot on the island are the Brazilian Navy and carefully selected scientists that are hand picked by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment to do research there.
The main species of snake that lives on the island is the Golden Lancehead Pit Viper, which besides having a pretty cool name, is considered extremely dangerous! The reason the species is considered endangered, is because they only exist on this island.
A very long time ago, the island was connected to the Brazilian mainland, but rising sea levels turned it into an island, which trapped the snakes there forever. There are no mammals on the island, and this has left the snakes without any prey, except for the birds that would occasionally rest in the trees.
The snakes evolved and adapted to their new circumstances, and developed a venom that was so potent, that it could kill or paralyze a bird within seconds! The snakes had to become more aggressive and quickly kill their prey, or the birds would just simply fly away, leaving the snakes without any food to survive.
Because the island is so rarely visited by people, we don't exactly know how many snakes live there or how a bite from one of them would affect humans. Some estimates on the viper population are as high as 430.000! This would mean that there is one snake for every square meter on the island. And vipers aren't tiny either, they grow up to be half a meter long!
More conservative estimates put their population at 4000, but that would still mean that there is a huge amount of snakes on the island. That's one snake for every 5.5 square meters! No matter where you would you go, you would run into a snake at some point.
Even though nobody has ever been bitten by one of the vipers yet, the chemical analysis of their venom revealed that it is five times as powerful as that of a regular Lancehead snake! Based on this it is estimated that you would have a 35% chance of dying if you were ever bitten by one, and that's assuming you'd only get bitten once if you went there.
Their venom is hemotoxic, which means it will literally eats away at your flesh. Symptoms after a bite would most likely include: swelling, nausea, intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, brain hemorrhages, and the flesh around the bite dissolving!
At one point the island was actually considered for a banana plantation, and some of the rainforest was even cleared in preparation, but obviously those plans were abandoned for very good reasons.
The only man made structure currently on the island is a lighthouse that was built in 1909, and for a long time somebody actually lived on the island to operate it. Eventually the lighthouse was automated, and since then the Brazilian Navy occasionally visits the island for maintenance and repairs.
Of course we could never travel there, but what an amazing place it would be to visit and experience!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article!