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Ilha de Queimada Grande – Brazil’s Scary Snake Island

An aerial view of the Brazilian island of Ilha de Queimada Grande, you would agree, looks breathtaking. It’s probably a place where you would love to spend an exotic vacation. But this is an excellent example that looks can be very deceiving. If you were to set foot on the island, you would always be no more than 3 feet away from your death. Because for every square meter of land on the island, there is a very deadly, very poisonous snake.

Ilha de Queimada Grande is located about 90 miles off the shore of Brazil. The island is, not surprisingly, devoid of any kind of human presence. The Brazilian Navy has forbidden people from visiting the island, except for a few scientists who need special approval. The reason – the presence of highly dangerous Golden Lancehead snakes. The lanceheads that occupy the island of Ilha de Queimada Grande can grow anywhere between half a meter to 2 meters long. The venom these snakes inject is so powerful that it can kill two men at once. This venom is fast-acting too, since it simply melts the flesh surrounding the bite. The scaly creatures breed all year round, producing 50 babies each time. With no enemies, the snakes have been able to take over the island and populate it quite freely. They survive mainly on migratory birds that use the island as a resting point.

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Brazilian City Hires Real-Life Batman to Help Fight Crime

Batman fans in Brazil now have a reason to rejoice,  as this is probably the closest they will ever get to their favorite super hero. Inspired by the role played by Batman in the protection of Gotham city, officials of Taubate, Brazil have gotten a real-life Batman for their protection too. Except, this one has no batmobile.

The Brazilian superhero is actually a  former soldier, Andre Luiz Pinheiro, who has been hired to patrol the streets of Taubate. Oh, and he sports a Batman costume while he’s at it, just for kicks I suppose. The details are still being worked out, so it’s not exactly clear yet if there will be other things from the comic-strip like a bat-signal for when he’s needed on duty. Thankfully, cops don’t really expect the faux-Batman to seriously combat crimes such as drug trafficking and murder. Instead, he will play a more indirect role in the fight between good and evil. A social and educational crime prevention project is being planned, which targets children from the city.

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Brazil’s Ballet School for the Blind

Reports of visually impaired people performing regular activities with finesse are not new. However, such stories never cease to amaze us. The resilience and confidence displayed by some of the blind leave us awestruck, and sometimes the blind are even able to do things that people with normal vision are not.

Dance is one such activity. While it is almost inconceivable to think of a blind person being able to perceive and enact the dance moves of a beautiful and classical form like ballet, a Brazilian ballet school has managed to do just that – train blind dancers. And how they dance!

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30-Year Old Brazilian Woman Looks Like a 9-Month Baby

We bring to you the curious case of a real-life Benjamin Button, with a twist. A Brazilian woman, who has neither aged, nor is getting any younger. Born on May 7, 1981, Maria Audete do Nascimento still has the body of a baby.

Maria belongs to a poor family, living in a mud house in Ceara, Brazil. Her family consists of her father and his second wife, who has been caring for her ever since her own mother died, 13 years ago. The family cannot afford to provide any form of treatment for Maria, whose condition could have been reversed if treated at birth. For now, she continues to live like a baby, unable to tend to her own needs, and unable, even to speak. The home in which Maria lives, however poor, does not seem short of love. Her step-mother, Dora, has taken care of the woman-child since the day she was married. Dora believes that it is the passion of her life, and that the child was sent to her as a gift of God, to take care of.

Experts from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ceara believe that what Maria suffers from is a severe deficiency of the thyroid hormone. As a result of hypothyroidism, her body was never able to develop physically or mentally. They also went on to say that if the case had been identified early on, Maria may have grown up as a normal child. The University has agreed to provide free treatment to Maria, to enable her to be a little more independent – to walk, eat and say a few words. But for now she is, in some ways, what every parent wishes for – a child that never grows up. Read More »

Brazilian Doctor Uses HIV-Infected Needles to Keep Burglars Out

Some people use guard dogs, other opt for an alarm or surveillance system to keep burglars away, but a certain Brazilian doctor went for something a lot more extreme – needles infected with HIV.

The female orthopedist from the city of Sobradinho was fed up with burglars jumping over her fence and stealing her belongings. They had already stolen her lawnmower, hair dryer and photo camera when she decided to put an end to the trespassing by taping dozens of HIV-infected syringes atop her metal fence and hanging a sign saying ” Wall with HIV positive blood. No trespassing.”

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Man Sleeps in Coffin to Honor His Dead Friend

Zelli Rossi, from Sao Paolo, Brazil, has been sleeping in a coffin for the last 23 years, as a way of honoring the memory of a friend who died in 1988.

The story of Zelli Rosi and his bizarre sleeping habit would have probably remained a family secret if his 14-year-old grandson hadn’t decided to write a story about it in the school newspaper. Apparently, he and a childhood friend once promised each other to buy the coffin of whoever of them died first. In 1983 he was involved in a serious car crash, and his good friend, who had heard rumors he had died, honored their agreement and bought a casket for Zelli. But he wasn’t really dead. A speeding car had crashed into him while he was sitting on his bike and he was hospitalized for four months. He tried to return the casket but his friend wouldn’t take it back, so he kept it in his home. Read More »

Leao – The Dog Who Refuses to Leave His Owner’s Graveside

A photo of a Brazilian dog siting by his owner’s muddy grave, near Rio de Janeiro, has been circulating around the Internet and touching the hearts of millions. His name is Leao and simply refuses to leave the graveside of his owner Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died during the terrible landslides that devastated Brazil, last week. The photos below were taken during the second consecutive day in which Leao sat by his owner’s final resting place, and showing the entire world that loyalty goes way beyond the grave.

These photos of Leao remind me of the true story of Hachiko, another monument of canine loyalty that has inspired Japanese dog lovers for years.

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The Fat Monkey of Sao Paolo

A giant sculpture looking like a fat, colorful monkey lying on its back, has become one of the most popular attractions of Brazilian city Sao Paolo.

The curious landmark has been featured on many spammy photo blogs around the Internet, in the last few days, but hardly any of them provided any real information about it. Luckily, I was able to find a link to the site of Fat Monkey’s creator, designer Florentijn Hofman.

Fat Monkey is a very interesting art installation simply because it’s made out of 10,000 colorful flip-flops, a true symbol of Brazilian beaches. It was created during the 2010 Pixelshow Design Congress, with the help of local art students. A part of the Obestias art series, Fat Monkey can now be admired on a lawn, close to the Pixelshow venue.

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Brazilians Build Favela for Dogs

So Ama, a humane organization, from Brazil, has built an entire neighborhood for around 1,600 stray dogs. This dog favela actually rivals people live in.

Located in the Southern city of Caxias do Sul, the pooch favela is probably the only one of its kind, i the whole world. Due to lack of funds to build a proper dog shelter, the volunteers of the So Ama organization were forced to build 1,000 dog houses and chain the dogs next to them.

The 1,600 dogs and 200 cats are definitely not easy to take care of, and right now the dog favela is just trying to make ends meet. The $14,000 it receives monthly, from municipal authorities, and the donations are not enough to cover all the costs, which include 13 tons of food and veterinary services.

Photos by Bruno Domingos/REUTERS via Daylife

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Brazilians Celebrate Underwear Day

Scantily clad models showed up at malls, bus stations and on the streets of Brazil, as part of the celebrations for Brazilian Underwear Day.

The event took place on Tuesday, and was organized by Brazilian fashion website Finissimo. The models, both male and female, showed off their underwear in the most crowded places, to attract as many views as possible.

I know it sounds meaningless, but there’s more to Underwear Day, than beautiful models and plain fun. Style consultant Maria Thereza Laudares explains the aim of this national event: “The aim of the National Underwear Day is to make people recognize the importance of these garments left unseen, but which are the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.”

She’s got a point there, and since this is the fourth edition of Brazilian Underwear Day, people seem to be responding positively.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

Brazilian-Underwear-Day

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