the most dangerous island in the world
the most dangerous island in the world

The Most Dangerous Island in the World: Queimada Grande Island

Have you ever heard of Queimada Grande Island, also known as “Snake Island”? This intriguing place, located 35 km off the coast of São Paulo, is considered the world’s largest natural snake sanctuary. However, the fame of this island goes beyond its snake population, making it known as the most dangerous island in the world.

History and Legends

Ilha Queimada Grande: The Most Dangerous Island in the World. Photo: João Marcos Rosa Gabriel Schulz.

The island was named “Queimada Grande” ( translated into English, would be “Big Fire) due to a peculiar practice by fishermen in the past. Upon arriving at the island, they used fire to ward off the snakes and ensure a safe landing. This extreme measure reflects the fear instilled by the massive presence of the golden lancehead viper, a venomous species unique to the region.

The island’s history is full of legends, contributing to its dangerous reputation. One legend tells of a family that moved to the island in 1920 to take care of the lighthouse. After a few months, they were found dead with no apparent explanation. It is said that it is still possible to hear the laughter of the couple’s daughter echoing on the island.

The Unique Wildlife of the Island

Snake. Photo: Release.

Despite its apparent hostility, Ilha Queimada Grande plays a crucial role in the preservation of various endangered species. The golden lancehead viper, in particular, is a target of biopiracy, putting its existence at risk. This snake, adapted to the island environment, is smaller and lighter than its continental relatives, possessing unique characteristics for survival.

In addition to snakes, the island is home to the Queimada Grande lazy lizard, about 30 species of birds, including the wren, three species of endemic amphibians, three types of lizards, two species of blind snakes, and an impressive 70 cataloged species of spiders.

Dangers and Preservation

Access to Queimada Grande Isaland is restricted, requiring authorization, and only the Navy is permitted to enter. This measure aims to protect both the unique species and the visitors, discouraging biopiracy and preserving the delicate ecosystem.

Unfortunately, the golden lancehead viper is critically endangered, according to the IUCN and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. The illegal practice of removing specimens from the island for clandestine trade represents a serious threat, highlighting the importance of strict conservation measures.


Queimada Grande Island remains shrouded in mysteries and legends, but it also plays a vital role in wildlife preservation. Its isolation and inaccessibility help protect not only the unique snakes but also a variety of endangered species. Although it is considered the most dangerous island in the world, its perilousness is, in a way, a call for us to leave it untouched, allowing nature to thrive at its own pace, away from human interference.


Deixe um comentário

O seu endereço de e-mail não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios são marcados com *

Esse site utiliza o Akismet para reduzir spam. Aprenda como seus dados de comentários são processados.

We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the use of ALL cookies.