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I have a fear of snakes, so nat­u­rally I was hor­ri­fied to learn about Snake Is­land in “The World’s Off-lim­its Places” (March is­sue). It sounds like some­thing out of a movie, but there’s re­ally an is­land off the coast of Brazil that teems with thou­sands of snakes! How big is it? And what else lives there?

Sa­man­tha Hart­ley

Snake Is­land is about 0.2 square miles, or around 125 acres. It does sound like a ter­ri­fy­ing place, and for­tu­nately no one has to live there since the light­house was au­to­mated in the 1920s. In ad­di­tion to the ven­omous golden lance­head vipers that fes­toon the is­land, other in­hab­i­tants in­clude in­sects like cock­roaches and lo­custs. Also, var­i­ous mi­gra­tory birds stop to rest there (at their peril, of course).

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