Kong: Skull Island drops us into unchartered territory with the release of the movie on March 9, 2017, giving us a glimpse into a new, perilous world teeming with dangerous creatures and at the center of it all, one enormous ape. Here's the pulse-raising trailer, if you need a reminder:
There's no doubt about it — Skull Island is certainly not fit for man. However, although we can take solace in the fact that the gigantic creatures on this off-shore death trap may be fictional, it may unsettle you to know that there are plenty of real-life islands around the world that would make the burliest of men cry out in fear. Take a look at some of them below:
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7 Real-Life Locations Just Like Skull Island:
1. Ilhla da Queimada Grande
- Location: Brazil, 90 miles from the city of São Paulo
- Threat: Thousands of Golden Lancehead Vipers
If you know what's good for you, avoid Ilhla da Queimada Grande, affectionally called "Snake Island" by Brazilians. Located off the coast and spanning just 110 acres, it is the home to thousands upon thousands of Golden Lancehead Vipers, one of the deadliest and most venomous serpents in the world. In fact, their bite is considered to be far more potent than of any snakes on mainland Brazil.
So, unless you plan on making your body swell up like a balloon, have your skin melt away, suffer a brutal brain hemorrhage, urinate blood, have your intensities rupture and most likely die within the hour, it would probably be a good shout to avoid this real life Skull Island nightmare.
2. Bikini Atoll
- Location: Marshall Islands
- Threat: Nuclear radiation and sharks
While the name "Bikini Atoll" may trigger visions of endless cocktail sipping, tranquil waters and soft, sandy beaches, this Pacific Ocean is actually one of the most inhabitable places on Earth.
Back in the late '40s and '50s, the United States conducted 23 nuclear tests here, leaving the island to omit toxic radiation and making it unsafe to live on to this day. It was also the site of the denotation of the 15-megaton hydrogen bomb known as Castle Bravo in March 1954, which ended up being the equivalent of more than 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs and still remains one of the most powerful explosions detonated by the U.S.
3. Saba Island
- Location: St. Maarten, Carribbean
- Threat: Hurricanes
The first obstacle of Saba Island lies in getting there — notoriously, it has one of the most dangerous airports of the world where the shockingly short runway opens up to cliffs dropping into the sea.
Once you're there though, the real-life, true force of nature will appear more frightening than any King Kong inhabiting Skull Island. During the hurricane season — which takes place between June and November of each year — the beautiful island is pommeled by storms that leave a wave of chaos and destruction behind them. In fact, it has been hit by more hurricanes since 1851 than any other place on Earth, at a rate of one major one every 2.5 years.
- Location: Japan
- Threat: active volcano Mount Oyama
Considering Miyake-jima is essentially an active volcano that has seen recent eruptions last over four years, you're probably safer staying away from this small Japanese island. During each outbreak, volcano Mount Oyama spews toxic sulphur dioxide vapors — often at a rate of up to 42,000 tons a day — into the atmosphere, forcing all inhabitants have to wear a gas mask.
5. Komodo Island
- Location: Indonesia
- Threat: Komodo dragons
Home to the legendary Komodo dragon, Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 island that makes up the Republic of Indonesia and definitely isn't the sort of place you want to visit without an experienced guide.
Here, giant reptiles can grow up to a huge 3 meters long and weigh a colossal 70 kilograms, meaning that they might as well join the ranks of fictional monsters such as King Kong. Their unusually large size can be attributed to "island gigantism," a biological phenomenon in which the size of a creature isolated on an island increases as there are no other predators near-by.
Although the Komodo dragons seldom attack humans, unfortunate turns of events have meant that a number of unlucky individuals have felt the lizard's toxic bite, which often leaves its victims to die of septicemia.
Victims include a German tourist who was devoured in 1989 and an 8-year-old boy who was killed and eaten by the dragons in 2007.
6. Poveglia Island
- Location: Italy
- Threat: Supernatural forces
Unlike the gigantic inhabitants of Skull Island, upon first glance, the pretty little island of Poveglia off the coast of Italy doesn't seem menacing at all. However, one must merely look beyond the surface to discover the sinister reality behind one of the most unsettling places on Earth.
The history of Poveglia goes back many centuries, when the bubonic plague broke out in Venice. Those suffering from the deadly disease were quarantined off to the small, secluded land-mass, where over 100,000 met their ends and had their bodies thrown into huge pits to rot. Fast forward to the 1920s and a hospital was built here, an institution carrying out hundreds of horrifying lobotomies on the mentally ill and those unlucky enough to find themselves in such a wretched place. Finally, many of the doctors ended up committing suicide, claiming that the ghosts of Poveglia had caused them to go insane.
Since, many have attempted to step foot on the real-life island but were driven away by frightening sights and unexplained phenomenons, with even some reporting being viciously attacked by paranormal entities. Thankfully, the Italian authorities soon-after banned all visits to Poveglia, meaning that you won't get the chance to piss your pants and scream like a tiny infant, even if you wanted to.
7. Ramree Island
- Location: Off the coast of Burma
- Threat: Saltwater crocodiles
While Komodo Island may be overrun with real-life dragons, Ramree Island is also home to a terrifying monster — the saltwater crocodile, the largest reptilian predator in the world. Incredibly aggressive, even the smallest one is capable of snapping a human being in two and that is exactly what happened during the Second World War, when almost 1000 Japanese soldiers were brutally munched by the hungry crocs lying in wait.
To this day, the event is considered by the Guinness World Records to be "The Greatest Disaster Suffered [by humans] from Animals." And here's why — read naturalist Bruce Stanley Wright describe the unfolding scene in his 1962 book Wildlife Sketches Near and Far:
"That night was the most horrible that any member of the M.L. [marine launch] crews ever experienced. The crocodiles, alerted by the din of warfare and the smell of blood, gathered among the mangroves, lying with their eyes above water, watchfully alert for their next meal. With the ebb of the tide, the crocodiles moved in on the dead, wounded, and uninjured men who had become mired in the mud.
The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left…Of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about 20 were found alive."
If Wright's claim is true, then the crocodile attacks on the island of Ramree remain the worst in recorded history.
Which real life island seems worse than the one in Kong: Skull Island?