The World’s Most Dangerous and Beautiful Adventure Places-1.Snake Island

Ilha da Queimada Grande, also known as Snake Island, is a small island located about 35 kilometers off the coast of São Paulo state in Brazil. It is one of the most dangerous and forbidden places on Earth, as it is home to thousands of venomous snakes, including the deadly golden lancehead viper (Bothrops insularis). No one is allowed to visit the island without a special permit from the Brazilian government, and only a few scientists and explorers have ever set foot on it.

The island has a tropical climate, with an average temperature of 25°C and a high humidity. It has a rich vegetation, consisting of mainly rainforest and grassland, and a steep terrain, with cliffs and rocky shores. The natural beauty of the island contrasts with the horror of its inhabitants, the golden lancehead vipers, which are endemic to the island and found nowhere else in the world.

The golden lancehead viper is one of the most venomous snakes in the world, with a venom that is four times more potent than that of other lancehead vipers. Its venom contains neurotoxins (affecting the nervous system), hemotoxins (attacking the blood), myotoxins (paralyzing the muscles) and cytotoxins (destroying the cells), causing a very painful death within an hour if not treated. According to reports, 90% of snakebite deaths in Brazil are caused by this snake.

The golden lancehead viper mainly feeds on migratory birds that stop on the island, using its venom to quickly kill and digest its prey. It has a high density on the island, with an estimated one to five snakes per square meter, making it almost impossible to avoid them. Some people say that there are more than 400,000 snakes on the island, which is terrifying to imagine.

The reason why the golden lancehead viper is only found on the island is due to its isolation from the mainland. About 11,000 years ago, due to the erosion of the sea and the geological changes, the island gradually separated from the mainland, providing a relatively closed ecological environment for the snake, which adapted to the special conditions of the island and developed its unique characteristics.

The island was declared a natural reserve by the Brazilian federal government in 1984, and no one is permitted to enter the island without a special authorization. Before that, there were many incidents of snake bites on the island. According to the locals, a fisherman once landed on the island to pick bananas, but never came back. There is also a lighthouse on the island, which used to have a keeper, but one of the workers was bitten by the snake and died. In the 1920s, the lighthouse was automated, and the Brazilian navy only needs to visit the island once a year to maintain it. The island is also a laboratory for scientists, who can obtain a special permit from the Chico Mendes Institute, a federal agency under the Brazilian government, to study the snake.

Due to the demand of scientific research and animal collectors, there are often some wildlife smugglers who secretly land on the island to catch snakes. On the black market, a golden lancehead viper can sell for up to 10,000 to 30,000 US dollars. In addition, human activities and some diseases have also caused a serious impact on the snake population, which has decreased by nearly 50% in the past 15 years.

Moreover, the venom of the golden lancehead viper contains BPPs bradykinin, which have the effect of lowering blood pressure. According to research, the snake venom has shown effects in the treatment of heart disease, blood circulation and thrombosis, and may also have anti-cancer effects. Therefore, the golden lancehead viper has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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