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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/2/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The golden lancehead viper lives only on a small island off the coast of Brazil

A 4.6 million square foot island located 20 miles off the coast of Brazil is the only place on earth where the terrifyingly deadly golden lancehead viper can be found.

The golden lancehead viper is one of the worlds deadliest snakes.

The golden lancehead viper is one of the worlds deadliest snakes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/2/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Science, International


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Snake Island", Ilha de Queimada Grande is off limits to the public, enforced by the Brazilian navy, and is the only habitat of Bothrops insularis, one of the world's deadliest snakes.

The snake's venom is capable of dissolving human flesh, and untreated the mortality rate is 7%, and even with treatment it remains at 3%. To add to that, there are claims that there is one snake per square meter on the island, while locals believe that there may be five snakes to every square meter.

Occasional visits by scientists are the only contact the Brazilian navy allows, but it is expected that the island is visited by poachers, who catch the vipers which are valued at $30,000 on the black market.

Before the island was declared off limits, there were stories told about the deadly predators. One, details the death of a fisherman who lost power in the engine of his boat. After he drifted to the island he ventured inland, unaware of the dangers. He was later found in a pool of his own blood, covered in snake bites.

There used to be a lighthouse on the island, where the keeper lived with his family. The snakes managed to enter the structure by crawling through the windows, and the family ran in panic. Eventually their bodies were found scattered across the island.

These vipers are marked as an endangered species because of genetic inbreeding and susceptibility to wildfires, which could destroy their entire home.

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