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 over 100 acres – and no one lives there. That’s because Ilha da Queimada Grande hides a deadly secret. And only a handful of intrepid travelers and scientists have made the journey to the atoll to report back on its treasures.
If you view Ilha da Queimada Grande from a boat, it may look inviting. Its rainforest probably gives the impression of a jungle paradise to onlookers, and its sandy beaches look like the perfect places to spend a lazy hour or two. The climate is ideal for barefoot strolls, too, getting to a balmy 66 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and rising to 82 degrees when summer kicks in. But don’t be fooled by this air of idyll.