A huge population of mutant tiger snakes has inhabited a small island off the coast of Tasmania to the point where tales of fleeing tourists are routinely regaled like local urban legends. Except the story about the snakes — which are said to be double the size of their mainland counterparts — is very much real.
May I humbly and respectfully say: absolutely fucking not, thank you very much.
Hummocky (AKA Mount Chappell Island) is an uninhabited island in the Furneaux Group of islands off the northeast coast of Tassie. The only things that call this Indigenous Protected Land home are two (2) rangers and a rumoured metric fuckload of monster tiger snakes who have evolved to be larger than the ones spotted elsewhere.
Pakana man Grahame Stonehouse, one of the rangers living on the island, told the ABC he has “a lot of respect” for the supposedly supersized serpents and doesn’t believe they’re harmful at all.
“They don’t want to use their venom on you, they want to use it on a feed,” he said.
He reckons the whispers of the snake population on the small island — as well as their enormous size — have “gotten out of hand” but science indicates they’re very likely a bit bigger than bog-standard tiger snakes.
According to herpetologist (AKA reptile expert) Simon Fearn, the snakes survive by eating mutton bird chicks which are only small enough to be gobbled up for about five weeks a year.
“There’s about 20,000 baby snakes born on Chappell Island every year and less than 1 per cent reach adulthood,” he told the ABC.
“It’s only the biggest, fastest-growing baby snakes that can jump the gap from skinks to their first mutton bird chicks.”
To get the most out of their annual feeding season, the snakes have evolved to have larger heads and would be pretty fucking massive in the time between feasting and hibernating for the rest of the year.
Honestly no matter their size I would very much not like to find myself on that island in late summer, especially if there are thousands of mutant snakes hatching every bloody year.