Despite being home to gorgeous beaches, beautiful bodies and the 2014 Football World Cup, Brazil can be a rather dangerous place. Even Indiana Jones would need to exercise caution when travelling to this postcard perfect destination.
Dangerous Brazil – Wandering Spider
The Guinness World Records has rated the Brazilian Wandering Spider to be the world’s most venomous spider. If that’s not enough, it is called the wandering spider because it uses its creepy 15 cm leg span to do just that…wander about. These spiders roam at night in search of prey and hide during the daylight hours. They like to hide in dark places like in houses, cars, log piles and banana trees. In 2005 a man in England was sorting though bananas at his local grocery store when one appeared and bit him. It seems that the spider had ‘wandered’ all the way from Brazil, stowed away in a shipment of Brazilian bananas.
Dangerous Brazil – Piranhas
Piranhas can grow up to 43 cm in length. They have interlocking, razor sharp teeth which they use to tear flesh from their prey. In 2011 they claimed the life of an 18 year old boy who wandered drunk into a river. In 2012 a young Brazilian girl was also killed by these frightening fish. In September 2011, around 100 swimmers were attacked by piranhas at a popular lake resort in Brazil. Many required hospital treatment for their wounds. Human attacks tend to occur in the hotter months when the piranha’s food sources are running low, coincidently, this is the time humans like to take a refreshing dip to cool off.
Dangerous Brazil – Snake Island
Ilha de Queimada Grande is a small island off the coast of the Brazilian mainland. Known as Snake Island (not to be confused with Skeletor’s Snake Mountain), it has been estimated that this creepy paradise is home to as many as 4000 deadly snakes. That’s about one snake per square metre! The most dangerous snake to call this island home is the Golden Lancehead Viper. Only growing to about 45 cm (18 inches) in length the Viper’s venom has the ability to cause kidney failure, haemorrhaging and terrible necrosis to muscle tissue. This place is so dangerous; the Brazilian navy has forbidden anyone except a handful of scientists from landing on the island.
Dangerous Brazil – City Crime
Brazil is considered to be one of the most dangerous countries on earth. It’s alarmingly high murder rate according to the health ministry is 27 in every 100 000 inhabitants. Many of these murders are linked to drugs as Brazil is a heavy importer of cocaine and a hub in several very profitable international drug routes.
The Brazilian Favelas (slums) are home to many gangs who rule these areas under their own laws. Crimes including theft and carjacking are rife. Express kidnappings are common in the major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. A kidnapper will forcibly take you to an ATM and make you withdraw sums of money from your account in exchange for your freedom.
A Final Word of Advice
If you are planning a trip to Brazil and death is not high on your list of things to do, perhaps you should reconsider. Maybe a different destination might be better for you…say…umm…Canada? Sure the beaches aren’t quite as nice. But on the plus side, the most dangerous thing you’re likely to encounter would be a slightly disgruntled moose.