Over 69 of the more than 3000 species of snakes in the globe today have evolved from being wholly terrestrial to fully aquatic creatures, occasionally both. There is so much to learn about snakes, their habitats, and the places they are found. But this time, we would be exploring some places on Earth with no snakes and why snakes may not be spotted in these places no matter how hard you look. Keep reading to find out!
The Places On Earth With No Snakes
It is interesting to note that snakes are on all continents except Antarctica. Snakes, though populated in almost all countries, mostly avoid cold places. Also, snakes are cold-blooded animals and cannot balance their internal temperature; thus they rely on the temperature of their environments. Usually, snakes hibernate in the cold months. But in places where the cold is unending, they cannot thrive, as they require warmer seasons to move, feed and bask.
So, we bring you a list of the continents, countries, states, and even smaller regions with no snakes highlighted below:
Antarctica stands boastfully as the only continent with no snakes at all. Although Antarctica is home to wildlife and several unique creatures, it has no reptiles, which means, in fact, no snakes. It is home to tiny land creatures, and most of its beautiful natural scenery can be found around the waters. Antarctica has a lot of seals, penguins, orcas, squids, and blue whales.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the world’s snake-free countries. So if you are a snake lover, you should consider this before journeying down to New Zealand as you may not find any of your scaly elongated friends in the country. The reason for this has been linked to the fact that snakes never evolved there, and were primarily unable to cross oceans to New Zealand. Ironically, even though snakes could not make it into the country, the Yellow Lipped Sea Krait and the Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake are found to be swimming in the water around New Zealand.
These snakes wander to the water around New Zealand but would leave as soon as the water gets too cold. Most importantly, there is a total ban on snakes in New Zealand – which means that snakes can not be kept as pets or in the zoo. It is believed that if snakes are allowed in the country, they would possibly cause an imbalance in the snake-free ecosystem.
Ireland is yet another country with no snakes. Fossil records indicate that snakes never made Ireland their home. This may be due to the fact that Ireland is very cold and has a climate that is not conducive to snakes. In addition, snakes generally require warmth and light and Ireland never gets warm enough to sustain a healthy population of these endothermic animals. Luckily, unlike New Zealand, you are allowed to have snakes as pets in Ireland. A few snake species can also be found in selected zoos in the region.
Like other Islands in the Arctic, Greenland does not house any snakes. The climate in this country does not make it a natural habitat for snake species. However, if you would like to own a pet snake in Greenland, you’d have to take permission from the police district in the state.
Iceland is another overly cold island where snakes cannot live. The climate in the region is too harsh for snakes to survive and thrive. Although there are no snakes in Iceland, people often get confused upon hearing of the popular ‘sand snakes’ found in Iceland. It would interest you to know that the “sand snake” is only a unique view formed when the wind blows sand in the air so swiftly that it takes the shape of a snake. So if you’re unsure if there are snakes in Iceland or not – truth is, there are no records of any.
There are simply no snakes in Alaska. Alaska has been confirmed as a snake-free zone as there are no populations of any species of snake present there. However, there are records of remains of snakes found around the state, suspected to be bodies of pet snakes, relic snakes, or southern snakes trying to extend their range. The most frequent snake sighting in Alaska has been the common garter snake.
The lack of snakes in Alaska is associated with the fact that Alaska is usually too cold to sustain snake populations, and for most parts of the year, there are hardly warm seasons – or even sunlight. Not surprisingly, there are almost no reptiles in Alaska. In fact, the only reptile present in the state is the sea turtle.
There are no snakes native to Hawaii. Hawaii is a tropical island with no known snakes because of its geographical isolation. The only snakes you can see in Hawaii are mostly accidentally imported inside cargo shipments or planes. However, the Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake is sometimes found to reach the surroundings of Hawaii, but it remains in the water around the state. In case you’re not aware, owning a snake in Hawaii is considered a felony.
8. Cook Island
Cook Island is an island located between Alaska and Hawaii. Even though Cook Island is known as a home to flowers, plants, and abundant marine life, there are no recorded snakes in the region. There have been no snake sightings on this island, however, you may come across snake-like eel species such as spotted, banded, or crocodile snake-eels. These creatures may be mistaken for snakes, however, they are scaleless fish with the typical dorsal fin.
9. Cape Verde
Another country that wouldn’t feel like home to a snake lover is Cape Verde. Aside from the fact that there are no snakes in this country, there are also no predators and a limited number of venomous animals. Cape Verde has become widely known as a tourist country that poses little or no wildlife threats to visitors and residents and offers numerous appealing attractions for a great holiday destination.
10. Pacific Islands
Aside from the places listed above, there are also other Pacific islands with no snakes such as the island of Tuvalu, the Island of Nauru, the Island of Kiribati, and the Marshall islands. Although these islands have no land snakes, they have a significant population of local sea snakes. So, they’re classically not snake-free.
What Places on Earth Have the Most Snakes?
Two of the world’s most fascinating and unique natural wonders, both boasting a large concentration of snakes, are the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, Canada, and Ilha da Queimada Grande in Brazil.
Located in Manitoba, Canada, the Narcisse Snake Dens is an area where thousands of Red-sided Garter Snakes come to mate every spring. The event is so incredible and awe-inspiring that it attracts visitors from all over the world. During the mating season, which typically runs from mid-April to late May, the ground is literally covered with snakes. It is estimated that there are around 40,000 snakes in the dens, making it one of the largest concentrations of snakes in the world.
Ilha da Queimada Grande, which is located off the coast of Brazil, is home to the Golden Lancehead Viper, which is one of the world’s most venomous snakes. The island is also known as “Snake Island” due to the large number of Golden Lancehead Vipers that inhabit the area. It is estimated that there are over four thousand snakes on the island, which makes it one of the most densely populated areas of snakes in the world. Due to the high concentration of venomous snakes on the island, the Brazilian Navy has declared it off-limits to the public.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Wojciech Dziadosz/Shutterstock.com
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