Five deadly snakes to every square meter of this island
By kjfitz @ 2009-12-30 10:02:31
Ilha de Queimada Grande, nicknamed Snake Island, is a 430,000-square-metre (110-acre) island off the coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. It is home to a species of fer-de-lance, the Golden Lancehead (Bothrops insularis), which is one of the most venomous snakes in the world; local legend claims that there are five snakes to every square metre, while a documentary on the Discovery Channel says that in some places there are as many as one snake per square metre. The Golden Lancehead is the only species of snake on the island, yet is considered in danger of extinction since it has no other habitat, and might be wiped out by wildfire. Plans to build a banana plantation on the island fizzled, and, for a long time, the island's only inhabitant was a lighthouse keeper. Currently, the Brazilian Navy bans civilians from the island, though scientists sometimes receive waivers.