Scary Nature

The Terrible Myth Behind Ramree Island – And The (Maybe) Real Truth

Horror films about crocodiles are given a place of honor in the survival of man against nature and the dangers it poses. It’s not that there haven’t been too many masterpieces in this subgenre – we still haven’t heard of “Jaws” of alligators – but that we’ve come across some very decent movies in recent years, for the simple reason that alligators are a particularly menacing and deadly animal. In most cases, the reptiles considered the largest and deadliest in the world attack those who dare to visit their territory in the wild (for example, “Lake Placid” for its unnecessary sequels or “Rogue” from 2007), in a few cases the crocodiles reach the urban area (“Crawl” from 2019 ) and the rest of the films don’t really have a plot (or effects. or budget. or reasonable acting). But what if we had a place that provides us with the scariest survival movie, in front of thousands of crocodiles, in our world?

According to legends, Ramree Island in Myanmar (formerly Burma) provides much more than that – which explains why it is called “Crocodile Island” and is considered by many to be one of the scariest and most dangerous natural sites in the world. The good news is that today and in reality, it may be less scary than you might think. So where is Ramree Island, Why is it so dangerous and can you actually visit there?

Why Is Ramree Island Dangerous? Meet The Perfect Predator

The first question you may ask is where is Ramree Island? Well, the island is located off the coast of Myanmar. The island, which is part of Rakhine State, is the largest of its kind in the country and Myanmar as a whole: its area is about 1,350 square kilometers. A narrow canal-like strait, with an average width of only about 150 meters, separates the island from the mainland.

On the island, large parts of it look more like a giant swamp, you will find trees and green spaces aplenty, mud volcanoes… and crocodiles, which gave it its name. Just like Snake Island in Brazil, we have already exposed you to, there are sights of horror that it will offer to those who dare to visit it.

Ramree island crocodile island

What’s So Scary About Elegators?

The truth is that you don’t need horror movies to know that crocodiles can be very dangerous. First of all, because their dimensions are truly extraordinary: Saltwater Crocodile, such as those found in Ramree Island, are the deadliest among crocodiles. It can reach a length of seven meters and weigh almost one ton. The average alligator won’t reach these dimensions, but it can still overpower an adult human quite easily.

If that’s not enough, alligators will fiercely defend their territory, including brutally preying on anyone who dares to enter it. Man is almost completely helpless against the crocodile, which can swim at a speed of almost 30 km/h for short distances. The crocodile is also nocturnal and knows how to set well-planned ambushes, especially in darker times. One can imagine countless scenes of horror and scares on this basis in the cinema, but here Maybe this horror scenario also happened in reality.

Crocodile Screams: The Ramree Island Massacre

It is impossible to talk about crocodile island and not go back to the days of the Second World War, or to be more precise – to the beginning of 1945.

This year, the battle on the island of Rameri took place where the war was mainly with these giant reptiles. It started three years earlier when the island was occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army. During the war, the Allies launched an attack on the island intending to recapture it, and the battle of Ramree Island started. The plan behind this Ramree Island WW2 Attack was to establish airports, which would take part in the supply chain during the war.

About 1,000 Japanese soldiers stayed on the island. According to stories, they tried to cross about 16 kilometers in their escape from the British army, to the direction of the Ramree Island swamp. That’s when the “Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre” began, and only 20 Japanese soldiers survived. The event has already broken several Guinness records, such as “the largest number of dead in a crocodile attack”, believe it or not, or “the largest recorded slaughter of animals by humans”. The accounts of the British soldiers, who described the blood-curdling screams of the soldiers as they were eaten to death, also contributed to the mythology of horror surrounding this island.

ramree island
Ramree Island in a panoramic view. Photo: Arezarni1. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Ramree Island Massacre: The Myth VS The Reality (Probably)

But did it actually happen? Maybe not. The problem is that in most cases, records seem to be far-fetched or at the least turn out to be slightly exaggerated concerning reality. Many historians and scientists who have studied the battle since then believe that it is nothing more than an urban legend.

They point out the fact that in a relatively limited living space, where animals compete for territory and eat each other, it is not very likely that thousands of crocodiles will live and attack humans in a short period. Especially not saltwater crocodiles, known to be solitary and territorial. In other words: they are not the alligators who would prefer to share territory, eat together or sunbathe on the banks of the swamp. Just like small, unneutered dogs, they may be somewhat patient with females but will almost immediately chase away males that enter their territory. The gentle ones will do it with intimidation, the extreme ones with physical violence.

Ultraviolence. Saltwater Crocodile (Illustration)
Ultraviolence. Saltwater Crocodile (Illustration)

Every year there are several hundred cases of crocodile attacks in the world, most of them brutal: in the southern part of Asia and Oceania, for example, a little less than 100 people are killed a year by crocodile attacks. These facts are important because they allow us to take the narrative attributed to Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre with relatively limited credence. It may be that the truth is somewhere in the middle, that is, there was a killing of alligators but on a much smaller scale.

If we rely on some of the stories of the residents, it is possible that there was a smaller number of soldiers there (about 500 according to some estimates), and that only a few dozen of them the absolute majority found their deaths for other reasons: dehydration, contamination of the water sources, drowning, shooting by the British army, snakes and even sharks. It is said that to this day the island presents many dangers to those who dare to visit it, for example, malaria-carrying mosquitoes or scorpions.

And what about Ramree Island Crocodile population toady? The alligators still live there, but apparently in very limited numbers. In a world where animals compete for living spaces, and where people go on hunting trips, this is the reality. in this case, to trade crocodile skins, which are considered particularly prestigious.

Here is a Ramree Island Real Video showing the story:

Is It Possible To Visit Crocodile Island?

Tourism on Crocodile Island is limited to non-existent from the point of view of the western tourist, and we are not aware of any tours visiting Ramree Island. And yet, Ramree Island is getting a central role in Myanmar’s economy. The reason is that within Ramree Island now there is a system of gas pipelines, which transports gas and oil to different regions of China, which in this way receive a safe route with significantly shorter delivery times than other alternatives.

So it may be that Crocodile Island today is less threatening than it sounds and that the part of the horror associated with it is exaggerated or false. But there’s still no doubt that you don’t really wanna be going to Ramree Island, no matter how much you do enjoy occasionally watching a horror that includes crocodiles in bad computer animation that prey on annoying young people one after another. Considering the crocodile movies that hit the big and small screen from time to time, we may get to see a survival movie someday that will show the war of man against the cruel predator in the real location of the crocodile island.

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