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This Terrifying Brazilian Island Has the Highest Concentration of Venomous Snakes Anywhere
Smithsonian ^ | June 25, 2014 | Natasha Geiling

Posted on 06/30/2014 10:54:48 AM PDT by nickcarraway

Brazil's Ilha de Queimada Grande is the only home of one of the world's deadliest, and most endangered, snakes

From Iguazu Falls to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, there are some breathtakingly beautiful places in Brazil. Ilha da Queimada Grande, located about 90 miles off the São Paulo coast, seems like another one of those beautiful places—at first glance. Almost every Brazilian knows about the island, but most would never dream of going there—it's infested with between 2,000 and 4,000 golden lancehead vipers, one of the deadliest snakes in the entire world.

These vipers' venom can kill a person in under an hour, and numerous local legends tell of the horrible fates that awaited those who wandered onto the shores of "Snake Island." Rumor has it a hapless fisherman landed onto the island in search of bananas—only to be discovered days later in his boat, dead in a pool of blood, with snake bites on his body. From 1909 to the 1920s, a few people did live on the island, in order to run its lighthouse. But according to another local tale, the last lighthouse keeper, along with his entire family, died when a cadre of snakes slithered into his home through the windows.

Although some claim the snakes were put on the island by pirates hoping to protect their gold, in reality, the island's dense population of snakes evolved over thousands of years—without human intervention. Around 11,000 years ago, sea levels rose enough to isolate Ilha da Queimada Grande from mainland Brazil, causing the species of snakes that lived on the island—thought to most likely be jararaca snakes—to evolve on a different path than their mainland brethren.

The snakes that ended up stranded on Ilha da Queimada Grande had no ground level predators, allowing them to reproduce rapidly. Their only challenge: they also had no ground level prey. To find food, the snakes slithered upward, preying on migratory birds that visit the island seasonally​ during long flights. Often, snakes stalk their prey, bite and wait for the venom to do its work before tracking the prey down again. But the golden lancehead vipers can't track the birds they bite—so instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom, three to five times stronger than any mainland snake's—capable of killing most prey (and melting human flesh) almost instantly.


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Travel
KEYWORDS: brazil; dangerous; snakes
Still better than D.C.
1 posted on 06/30/2014 10:54:48 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Finally we know where we should send the Gitmo detainees and their fellow terrorists.


2 posted on 06/30/2014 10:57:35 AM PDT by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: Salamander
Island getaway...


3 posted on 06/30/2014 10:58:02 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: longfellowsmuse

Can’t wait for the Naked and Very, Very Afraid episode


4 posted on 06/30/2014 10:59:47 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: longfellowsmuse

Can’t wait for the Naked and Very, Very, Afraid episode


5 posted on 06/30/2014 11:00:37 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: longfellowsmuse

I think the Gaia-worshipping DNC should have their convention there.


6 posted on 06/30/2014 11:00:52 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: nickcarraway

“The snake is currently listed as critically endangered...”

I don’t even know where to start.


7 posted on 06/30/2014 11:01:57 AM PDT by moovova
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To: nickcarraway

Employers no longer need to pay for snakebite antidote. Because Racism.


8 posted on 06/30/2014 11:03:52 AM PDT by Dagnabitt (Amnesty is Treason. Its agents are Traitors.)
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To: nickcarraway

11,000 years ago?
A rise in Sea level?
Had to be Bush’s fault.


9 posted on 06/30/2014 11:04:22 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: nickcarraway

A snake’s gotta do what a snake’s gotta do.

.


10 posted on 06/30/2014 11:04:24 AM PDT by Mears
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To: moovova

Just the place to move the UN.


11 posted on 06/30/2014 11:05:23 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: nickcarraway
The Island


12 posted on 06/30/2014 11:05:30 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: nickcarraway
Sounds like the favorite weekend getaway for honey badger...


13 posted on 06/30/2014 11:06:22 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
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To: nickcarraway

Obviously they’ve not been to Australia.


14 posted on 06/30/2014 11:06:38 AM PDT by SkyDancer (If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers you are misinformed)
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To: nickcarraway

Perhaps 0bama can go there and apologize to the snakes.


15 posted on 06/30/2014 11:07:38 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: nickcarraway
But the golden lancehead vipers can't track the birds they bite—so instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom, three to five times stronger than any mainland snake's—capable of killing most prey (and melting human flesh) almost instantly.

Right.

I need some extremely powerful venom...I think I'll evolve some.

16 posted on 06/30/2014 11:08:20 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
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To: nickcarraway
They should put some small animals on this island for the snakes to play with.


17 posted on 06/30/2014 11:10:27 AM PDT by Bobalu (Avenge the three Jewish boys)
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To: nickcarraway

The only good snake is a dead snake. Time to drop poison and burn the island.


18 posted on 06/30/2014 11:12:32 AM PDT by bgill
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To: nickcarraway

19 posted on 06/30/2014 11:14:59 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Um....nope!

;]


20 posted on 06/30/2014 11:23:24 AM PDT by Salamander (He ain't heavy, he's my Boa.)
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To: nickcarraway

Looks like a job for St. Patrick.


21 posted on 06/30/2014 11:40:09 AM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: Salamander; Tijeras_Slim
Not as scary as Creepy Doll Island."
22 posted on 06/30/2014 11:54:30 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

That is creepy.


23 posted on 06/30/2014 11:56:12 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: longfellowsmuse

Send the administration and their minions there as well. Put all those snakes to good use.


24 posted on 06/30/2014 11:58:45 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: shibumi

Nope nope nope.


25 posted on 06/30/2014 12:08:50 PM PDT by Salamander (He ain't heavy, he's my Boa.)
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To: nickcarraway

I saw a Nova or Nature about this.

My thoughts were “Nuke it from space!”


26 posted on 06/30/2014 12:11:54 PM PDT by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: RoosterRedux

Honey Badger don’t care, he’ll eat all them snakes.


27 posted on 06/30/2014 12:12:39 PM PDT by BBell (The Blue Dog is Stupid)
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To: nickcarraway
Often, snakes stalk their prey, bite and wait for the venom to do its work before tracking the prey down again. But the golden lancehead vipers can't track the birds they bite—so instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom, three to five times stronger than any mainland snake's—capable of killing most prey (and melting human flesh) almost instantly.

This is hysterical. Either "scientists" or the writer believes that evolution moves faster than the lifespan of a snake.

28 posted on 06/30/2014 12:15:05 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: BBell

Badger Buffet! All you can eat!


29 posted on 06/30/2014 12:24:29 PM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: Race is his cover...jihad is his game.)
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To: tet68

“Just the place to move the UN.”

HA!

Who has more snakes?


30 posted on 06/30/2014 12:37:25 PM PDT by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: RoosterRedux

After he eats all them snakes he’ll take a little nap.


31 posted on 06/30/2014 12:37:45 PM PDT by BBell (The Blue Dog is Stupid)
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To: nickcarraway
I once went to D.C. and the place was hip deep in snakes. There were Democrat snake, Republican snakes, House snakes, Senate snakes, Government snakes,Judge snakes and the deadliest of all the lobbyists snakes. No place on earth with more snakes than D.C. as the white hut has the king of snakes living there.
32 posted on 06/30/2014 12:45:49 PM PDT by lostboy61 (Lock and Load and stand your ground!)
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To: moovova

How can the snake be endangered when he made it to the White House twice?


33 posted on 06/30/2014 2:14:18 PM PDT by DPMD
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To: DPMD

“How can the snake be endangered when he made it to the White House twice?”

Well, we are a country without borders now.


34 posted on 06/30/2014 2:16:18 PM PDT by moovova
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To: nickcarraway

Set fire to the island to kill the snakes and then make a resort out of it. Problem solved.


35 posted on 06/30/2014 2:25:46 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: ShadowAce

“...But the golden lancehead vipers can’t track the birds they bite—so instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom...”

Obviously this evolution was a conscious decision on the part of the snake. It all seems so simple. Why take time for eons of “natural selection”.


36 posted on 06/30/2014 2:43:11 PM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, I learned something, Elba and St. Helena are not the best places to exile a deposed dictator.

THIS is the perfect island for the new white hut. Just like at Elba, the deposed dictator can have full authority over all he surveys.

Good luck.


37 posted on 06/30/2014 2:53:11 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Ray76

One snake or more every square meter? I miss Steve Irwin.


38 posted on 06/30/2014 3:10:27 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: bgill

Napalm would be nice. Knowing that there are idiots out there who will catch and sell them for a lot of money to other idiots who might be careless is enough for the island to be declared a public health hazard.

There are certain endangered species who deserve to be endangered.


39 posted on 06/30/2014 3:58:48 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: moovova
“The snake is currently listed as critically endangered...”

Napalm can fix that...

40 posted on 07/22/2014 1:20:33 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: wildbill

LOL!! GMTA... ‘-)


41 posted on 07/22/2014 1:24:47 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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