No humans are allowed on Snake Island and with good reason. There’s about one deadly snake per square foot on it.


About 25 miles off the coast of Brazil, there is an island where no local would ever dare to say its name. It is said that the last fisherman who strayed too close to its shores was found days later in his own boat lifeless in a pool of blood.

The mysterious island is known as Ilha da Queimada Grande.

The danger on the island comes in the form of the golden lancehead snakes – a species of pit viper and one of the deadliest serpents in the world.

golden lancehead

The lanceheads can grow to be over a foot-and-a-half long and it’s estimated that there are between 2,000 and 4,000 snakes on the island. Snake Island used to be part of Brazil’s mainland, but when sea levels rose over 10,000 years ago, it separated the landmass and turned it into an island. Since the island vipers had no prey but birds they evolved to have extra-potent venom so that they could almost immediately kill any bird. 

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