If you sail from the coastal city of Itanhaém in Brazil and head south, you’ll come across a small island. It’s unassuming and measures just 110 acres – and no one lives there. Ilha da Queimada Grande hides a deadly secret, though. A handful of intrepid travelers and scientists have nevertheless made the journey to report back on the island’s treasures.
When the island is viewed from a boat, it may look inviting. Its rainforest and beaches surely seem like a jungle paradise to onlookers, after all, and the islet might well seem like just the place to spend a lazy hour or two. The climate is perfect for a barefoot stroll, as well. It’s a balmy 66 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, rising to 82 degrees Fahrenheit when summer kicks in. Looks, however, can be deceiving.
Once you land, the attractions of the island become even clearer. Thick foliage and outcrops of rock are evident wherever you look – and the sound of waves landing on the shores is never too far away. However, these spectacular vistas hide one of the natural world’s most deadly predators.