Malaysia is home to some of the most dangerous and treacherous jungles on the planet. These jungles are home to an impressive diversity of living things. However, due to the increase in population and the need for new living spaces, humans have been finding themselves more in contact with the creatures that were once only found deep in the jungle.
In this documentary, Adam Thorne travels to Penang Island and heads deep into the rainforest in search for answers regarding a mysterious temple and its unusual inhabitants—venomous vipers.
Some suggest that because of the incense that is constantly burning within the temple,
the snakes are kept in a state of hypnosis. This makes them quite docile, although they continue to have venom glands filled with venom. Legend has it that the vipers come to the temple on their own accord and take up residency mostly in the garden and the temple itself. This has been so for the last 150 years. The vipers are breathtakingly beautiful yet highly temperamental snakes, so their behavior within the temple grounds is quite surprising.
Thorn heads into the part of the jungle that has had the least human contact in the hopes of finding some of the same vipers in their natural habitat. His trek involves descending a steep hillside to get into a cave. Snakes love caves, especially if there are bats living in there.
Next he heads to the top of the canopy because vipers are arboreal and hence able to spend their entire lives above the ground. He encounters some very territorial macaques that aren’t shy about letting him know that he’s not welcomed. Eventually he ends up tracking a water monitor into the mangroves. These lizards can grow up to two and a half meters long.
Finally, Thorn and his team head back into the untouched and unprotected wilderness where walking is difficult because of the humidity and lack of breeze. They encounter many more exotic creatures as they search for the elusive vipers. Will he find out why the temple vipers are so docile?