Rapt Isles: The World’s 7 Most Amazing Snake Islands

Shedao Island, China

(images via: Pixnet, Clinical Toxinology Resources and WikiYou)

Shedao Island, located off China’s Liaoning peninsula near the city of Dalian, may be receiving more tourists this coming year since 2013 will be the Year of the Snake according to the Chinese horoscope. Then again, maybe not: the island is home to a distinct species of venomous snake, the Shedao Island Pit Viper (Gloydius shedaoensis). As with other island serpents, this species has evolved a more potent venom in order to catch its main food source, seabirds.

(image via: Pixnet)

Jumping in the air is recommended only on the beach – since the Shedao Island Pit Viper preys on birds you sure don’t want to look like one. In addition, the snakes are often found in trees where they ambush their prey, so pray you don’t leap into the line of fire!

Golem Grad

(images via: Skyscraper City, Istorika Kastorias and Ohrid Tours)

Golem Grad means “Big City” in the Macedonian language, which is odd because the currently uninhabited island never hosted any settlement larger than a monastic village. It’s also known as Snake Island and there’s no questions there – the 20-hectare island is pretty much crawling with snakes… literally. maybe that’s why the monks gave up the ghost half a century ago.

(image via: Wikipedia)

Golem Grad is located in Lake Prespa and although the national borders of Albania, Greece, and the Republic of Macedonia all run through the lake, Golem Grad itself is not in dispute. The island has been open to tourists since August of 2008 and hobbyists will enjoy viewing the ruins of Roman houses and ruined churches. Mind the snakes, though.

Snake Island, Boston, USA

(images via: EJMC and Wrenquest)

One of the more well-known Snake Islands is comfortably (or uncomfortably, depending on one’s point of view) close to home for Americans: Snake Island, smack dab in the middle of Boston Harbor. Also known as Bare Island, the 3 acre (12,000 square meter) island only rises 10 feet above sea level at it’s highest point. Interestingly, the island features a lagoon that is partially drained and refilled by the tides.

(image via: Northeast Park Science)

Snake Island is included in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and now that it’s officially uninhabited, the island has become an important breeding and nesting refuge for migratory birds. No need to worry about snakes, though, there aren’t many to speak of. Snake Island got its name from the long, serpentine sand bars sculpted by storms and tidal action that trail out from the island.

(image via: IMDB)

Don’t believe the hype, snakes aren’t slimy, vicious, overly aggressive or predatory when it comes to people – leave them be and they’ll be quite happy to return the favor. Moreover, these legless creatures are natural wonders and visiting an island where they’re the main attraction is an eco-vacation to be envied… just don’t see Snake Island, the movie, before you book your tickets.