Snake Island: Deadly Serpents in Every Direction

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
July 15 2013 8:45 AM

Off-Limits "Snake Island" Is Full of Venomous Pit Vipers

queimada_grand_0

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a new travel blog. Like us on FacebookTumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

Off the shore of São Paulo lies an island forbidden to visitors, by order of the Brazilian Navy. They have a good reason: Ilha Queimada Grande, "Snake Island," is covered with deadly Golden Lancehead vipers.

Unique to the island, this species of serpent is believed to have the fastest acting venom of any Lancehead viper. The effects of its bite include bleeding orifices, brain hemorrhaging, and kidney failure.

The density of snakes on the island is estimated at one per square meter, many of which are found overhead, hanging from the trees. In other words: death, every 3 feet, in all directions. Locals in the coastal towns near the Queimada Grande happily recount grisly tales about the island. In one, a fisherman unwittingly wanders onto the island to pick bananas and is bitten only moments after stepping ashore. The fisherman manages to stumble back to his boat before dying in a pool of his own blood. 

More on Snake Island can be found on Atlas Obscura.

Islands to avoid:


View Ilha de Queimada Grande in a larger map
Advertisement

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.