Most of us are used to crowds of people. We’ve seen pictures of really busy cities and subways where people are packed in like sardines. However, despite humanity’s tendency to dominate whatever space it likes, there are still some areas where animals have taken over.
Aoshima Island, Japan
Japan consists of a series of islands, but not all of them are like Tokyo. Aoshima Island is only 1 mile long, and residents make their living by fishing. The unusual thing about this island? Cats outnumber people 6 to 1. The feline arrived via ship, and quickly multiplied. More than a hundred cats roam the island freely, and are fed by local residents and tourists, who are drawn by the island’s internet popularity.
Another Japanese island, Okunoshima is home to thousands of rabbits. How did they get to the island? Some believe that school children brought eight bunnies in 1971. Rabbits are known to breed quickly, and because there are no predators on the island, their number continued to rise. Because the rabbits are so used to peop
le, they will usually approach visitors in hopes of food. Lots of videos are posted online of people “running” from huge numbers of rabbits or being swarmed as they’re fed.
Pig Beach, the Bahamas
Pig Beach is found on the island of Big Major Cay, which is part of a large series of islands collectively known as Exuma. No one is quite sure how the 20 pig families arrived, but legend has it a ship crashed, leaving only pigs as survivors. Another story statesthat sailors dropped of the pigs, intending to return to eat them, but never came back. Whatever their origin, the pigs are now perfectly content to live on their quiet slice of paradise. They are fed by locals and tourists, and enjoy swimming.
New Delhi, India
The monkeys in New Delhi are not cute and they are not fun. They behave like a mafia that is in complete control of the city streets. Numbering close to 30,000, the rhesus monkeys will steal whatever they can get their hands on, and even break into cars. They aren’t above attacking people, either, and can cause severe injuries with their sharp teeth. It has gotten so bad that city officials are trying to creative ways to control the population, such as bringing in another type of monkey – a langur – to scare off the monkeys. That hasn’t worked so well, and langurs are a protected species, so now scientists are experimenting with birth control.
Ilha da Queimada Grande, Brazil
Off Brazil’s coast, there’s an island so dangerous that the Brazilian Navy forbids anyone from visiting. The reason? Venomous golden lanceheads. This snake is big at over half a meter, and its venom literally melts the skin around the bite. On “Snake Island,” there’s between 1-5 snakes per square meter. They ended up on the island when it was still connected to the mainland, and rising sea levels cut them off. They adapted quickly, and populated the island. Scientists are the only people who visit, because the golden lancehead is critically endangered, and is mostly found on this one island.