Map cartography is the study and practice of making maps.
Here Be Dragons
The phrase refers to dangerous or unexplored territories, referring to the Medieval practice of putting dragons, sea serpents, and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.
The latin phrase “HC SVNT DRACONES” is also used. The term appeared on the Lenox Globe around the east coast of Asia, and might be related to the Komodo dragons in the Indonesian islands; this suggests that the term may have supposedly been used quite literally at times.
Isle of Demons
It is a legendary land that was believed to exist on Quirpon island, Newfoundland in Canada. It was generally shown as two islands. It began appearing on maps in the beginning of the 16th century, and disappeared in the mid-17th century.
It was believed to have been populated by demons and wild beasts. The demons and wild beasts would torment and attack any ships that passed or anyone that was foolish enough to wander onto the island.
A legend tells of a sea captain’s niece who became pregnant while having an affair with one of the sailors and was left on the island, along with her lover, where they were tormented by demons and evil spirits.
The Isle of Demons first appeared on the map of Johannes Rysch in 1508. It may be a variation of the older legend of the legendary island named Satanazes, meaning “devils” in Portugese; it was normally depicted in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, north of Antillia.
In Classical European literature and maps, it is a region in the far north. The term “ultima Thule” in medieval geographies also denotes any distant place located beyond the “borders of the known world”
“…the most northerly of the Britannic Islands, is farthest north, and that there the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the Arctic Circle.”
The inhabitants or people of Thule are described by Strabo in his Geographica, along with eye witness accounts of Pytheas during the 4th century BC:
…the people (of Thule) live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are grain and honey, the people get their beverage, also, from them. As for the grain, he says, since they have no pure sunshine, they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the rains.
Ilha da Queimada Grande
Also known as Snake Island, it is a real island off the coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. It is home to one of the most venomous snakes in the world, with a reputed “1-5 snakes per square metre”; and the island is 4.6 million square feet in size. Access to the island has been banned by the Brazilian government.
It is home to the Golden Lancehead Viper, with a venom so strong it can kill its prey almost instantly. It is said to be able to melt human flesh.
There are known deaths caused by the snakes of the island. One tale tells of a fisherman who, although unaware of consequences, enters the island to pick bananas. However, he gets bitten by (one of) the snakes. Although he manages to travel back to his boat, he dies due to the snakes’ venom. He was later found in a great pool of blood on the boat deck.