World Snake Day 2022; Here’s an island with the highest concentration of venomous snakes that limits human access

World Snake Day is held every year on July 16 and it aims to increase awareness regarding the over 3,500 snake species that exist across the world. The English word ‘snake’ comes from the Old English word ‘snaca.’ The reptile is thought to have come from terrestrial lizards that existed around 174.1 million to 163.5 million years ago. There are more than 3,500 known species of snakes on the planet. Among the 3,500 species, only about 600 are venomous. However, according to the WHO, only about 200 of those pose a significant risk to human life. 

On this day, here we are taking a look at the world’s most venomous island where the high concentration of snakes limits human access. It is the Brazilian island- Ilha da Queimada Grande, also known as Snake Island situated off the coast of Brazil in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is home to a large number of snake species, and this island in Brazil is called the world’s deadliest island as it has the highest concentration of venomous snakes anywhere in the world. 

The island is about 90 miles from the city of Sao Paulo, a city in Brazil. The snakes that reside over the island are not just normal snakes, but highly venomous ones. The island is the only natural habitat for endangered species of venomous Botropes insularis (Golden Lancehead Pit Viper) where they hunt birds for their food. 

Highly venomous snake on the island

As the world looks up to getting news from the snake island, no one will be daring enough to take up the movement to go to the island in Brazil. It is because the island is infected with around 2000 to 4000 venomous snakes within the entire world. The venom of these snakes can kill someone in less than an hour, saying that it can meet human flesh and many local legends tell of the terrible fate that awaits those who wander the shores of “Snake Island”. 

The snake’s venom is said to be three to five times stronger than that of any mainland snake. Golden lancehead is one of the deadliest snakes found on the island and also there are non-venomous snakes on the island these snakes stalk their prey, bite and wait for the venom to do its work before tracking the prey down again. 

Because of the overall low population of the golden lancehead, the snake was labeled critically endangered on the IUCN (International Union for conservation of nature) Red List of Threatened Species. It also was placed on the list of Brazil’s endangered animals. snakes on the island exist in such a high concentration that some estimates claim that there’s one snake for every square meter in some spots.

These lanceheads are common in Brazil and responsible for almost 90% of snakebite fatalities in the country. If one has been bitten by the lanceheads in the mainland and doesn’t receive medical treatment, then there is a chance of about 7% dying. However, the case is not the same with the snake island, because the venom of the snake is thought to be as much as five times more potent than the mainland counterparts. 

Read Also: It’s highly venomous…Brazil island with the highest concentration of venomous snakes limits human access

Origin of the snakes on the island

The snakes became trapped on the island thousands of years ago following the end of the last ice age when rising ocean levels disconnected the island from the mainland. The number of snakes trapped on the island multiplied rapidly as there were no hunters on the island. More venomous and fast-acting venomous snakes were able to catch migratory birds, and their venom became more powerful as the golden spearhead evolved on the island.

Because of the danger, the Brazilian government strictly controls visits to Ilha da Queimada Grande. Even without a government ban, Ilha da Queimada Grande probably wouldn’t be a top tourist destination. 

However, the island has been keenly observed by researchers and the Navy to make sure that the land is not used by any unwanted tourists at any cost. Earlier, the island was a habitat to some humans too but when reports showing the death of habitants were revealed, the tourists and other residents who wished to step into the land were limited. The island is also an important laboratory for biologists and researchers, who are granted special permission to visit the island in order to study the golden lancehead.