Snake Island is a tiny, uninhabited island off the coast of Brazil, and its inhabitants are solely snakes. The fact that this is the only known location where golden lanceheads exist may pique your interest until you learn that this species is so dangerous that the island is off-limits to the general public.
Snake Island, or Ilha da Queimada Grande, as it is sometimes called, is a little over 90 miles from Sao Paulo. For their safety and the safety of the snakes, the Brazilian Navy is very strict about who can go to the island.
A small group of scientists and Navy officials who have been thoroughly checked out have been to the island, but the snakes live there. Bothrops insularis, often known as the golden lancehead, is a poisonous snake that can reach lengths of over half a meter (20 inches).
These animals’ venom is so effective because they prey on birds, which are difficult to track when you have no limbs because of their flight characteristics. Where it lacks speed, the golden lancehead makes up for lethality with venom that can instantly kill birds and soften human flesh.
Although you probably wouldn’t want to get bitten by this snake, your options on Snake Island are limited. There may be as many as five snakes in a given square meter of this area. Given how many dangerous reptiles live on the island, you might be surprised to learn that it is a rest stop for birds on their way south.
We’ve already said that the Navy makes it hard for people to get to the island to protect the snakes. To anyone who might ask who or what such effective killers might need protection against, we are that someone or something.
Because of their potent venom, golden lanceheads are popular among people who collect animals. All the known individuals are on Snake Island, making them easy to track down if you’re willing to risk a journey there. Poachers gather these creatures to sell the items in underground markets.
It’s probably not a good idea to break onto Snake Island and steal a golden lancehead if you’re hoping to become a venom tycoon.
Recently, we talked to Dr Arie van der Meijden of the department of evolutionary biology about the unfounded claims about scorpion venom’s effectiveness.
Although this is indeed the most valuable liquid on Earth in terms of weight, its actual value is contingent on whether or not you can find a customer.
Multiple scientists have referred to the venom market as “fool’s gold” because labs subject to regulatory scrutiny will not jeopardize the integrity of their research by obtaining materials from unauthorised sources. The complete account is available in issue 4 of our online magazine, CURIOUS.
If you have very good eyesight, you might have seen a lighthouse on the island. In 1909 and the 1920s, a lighthouse keeper and his family were the only permanent residents on Snake Island, and their home is all that remains today.
On an island with the unfortunate name “Snake Island,” as you might expect, their sad story ended when snakes slithered in through the windows and killed them all, as Smithsonian Magazine reported.
Our recommendation is to stay far away from animals that can inject you with neurotoxins strong enough to damage your kidneys and melt your flesh. A fantastic spot to set a book, but not a vacation destination, Snake Island is an excellent place to write a book.