Skip to comments.This Terrifying Brazilian Island Has the Highest Concentration of Venomous Snakes Anywhere
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 placesat first glance. Almost every Brazilian knows about the island, but most would never dream of going thereit'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 bananasonly 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 yearswithout 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 islandthought to most likely be jararaca snakesto 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 biteso instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom, three to five times stronger than any mainland snake'scapable of killing most prey (and melting human flesh) almost instantly.
Finally we know where we should send the Gitmo detainees and their fellow terrorists.
Can’t wait for the Naked and Very, Very Afraid episode
Can’t wait for the Naked and Very, Very, Afraid episode
I think the Gaia-worshipping DNC should have their convention there.
“The snake is currently listed as critically endangered...”
I don’t even know where to start.
Employers no longer need to pay for snakebite antidote. Because Racism.
11,000 years ago?
A rise in Sea level?
Had to be Bush’s fault.
A snake’s gotta do what a snake’s gotta do.
Just the place to move the UN.
Obviously they’ve not been to Australia.
Perhaps 0bama can go there and apologize to the snakes.
I need some extremely powerful venom...I think I'll evolve some.
The only good snake is a dead snake. Time to drop poison and burn the island.
Looks like a job for St. Patrick.
That is creepy.
Send the administration and their minions there as well. Put all those snakes to good use.
Nope nope nope.
I saw a Nova or Nature about this.
My thoughts were “Nuke it from space!”
Honey Badger don’t care, he’ll eat all them snakes.
This is hysterical. Either "scientists" or the writer believes that evolution moves faster than the lifespan of a snake.
Badger Buffet! All you can eat!
“Just the place to move the UN.”
Who has more snakes?
After he eats all them snakes he’ll take a little nap.
How can the snake be endangered when he made it to the White House twice?
“How can the snake be endangered when he made it to the White House twice?”
Well, we are a country without borders now.
Set fire to the island to kill the snakes and then make a resort out of it. Problem solved.
“...But the golden lancehead vipers can’t track the birds they biteso 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”.
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.
One snake or more every square meter? I miss Steve Irwin.
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.
Napalm can fix that...
LOL!! GMTA... ‘-)
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