There are about 3,000 different varieties of snakes on the earth, with approximately 600 of them being venomous. A few of these 600 species can kill you instantly with their tiny venom. Here is a list of the top venomous snakes in the world that you should be aware of and avoid.
1. Saw-scaled Viper
This is the venomous snake that kills most humans. It’s also one of India’s most venomous snakes. Compared to other snakes in the “Big Four” in India, the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus) is the smallest. However, this snake is in charge of the majority of bites and deaths in this country.
The saw-scaled viper is found in India, Pakistan, arid areas of Africa, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. They frequently live in human-populated places.
Unlike other snakes, these venomous snakes don’t make hissing sounds when threatened. Instead, they create sizzling sounds by rubbing jagged scales together.
If you’re bitten by this snake, the affected area will get swollen and painful, as well as probable hemorrhage. Because the venom interferes with a person’s capacity to coagulate blood, it can cause bleeding from the inside and kidney failure.
Although there are nine different forms of antivenom for this viper, people in rural regions still can’t access to these. As a result, this snake has become the deadliest snake to mankind.
2. Inland Taipan
Listing the most venomous snakes in the world, the inland taipan is an indispensable member. With only 44-110mg of venom in its bite, the snake has more than enough ability to kill 289 humans. Not only that, this snake can also bite multiple times and can kill an adult in just 45 minutes.
What makes this snake so venomous like that? The answer is the hyaluronidase enzyme in its bite. This enzym boosts the absorption toxin rate all over the victim’s body.
The inland taipan lives in the clay fissures of the alluvial plains of Queensland and South Australia, typically within other animals’ burrows that were dug before. It’s the most venomous snake in Australia.
In comparison to the cousin coastal taipan, this snake lives in more distant areas. It barely interacts with humans.
When frightened, the taipan curls its body into an S-shape before shooting out in a single rapid bite or several bites. When bitten, you must seek immediate medical attention. You may go through some symptoms such as internal hemorrhage, muscle injury, numbness, and kidney failure.
3. Fer-De-Lance (Terciopelo)
Next on our list of the most venomous snakes on earth is the fer-de-lance or terciopelo. It is to blame for most death of snakebites in the areas. The fer-de-lance is a venomous pit viper that lives in South and Central America, as well as Mexico and Brazil. It’s the most venomous and dangerous snake in Costa Rica.
These 8-feet long snakes are frequently discovered living amid human communities. This’s why they usually bump into humans and cause several deadly bites.
The terciopelo has about 500-1500 mg of venom per bite. The quantities can fluctuate, depending on the species. With these venoms, the snake can averagely take down 6 people with one bite!
Its bite can cause a person’s tissue to become black as it starts to perish. It can trigger hemorrhage because its venom comprises an anticoagulant (a chemical that prevents blood clotting). And if that isn’t enough to put you off, think about this: A female terciopelo can give birth to 90 offspring at once.
Fortunately, scientists have found a highly efficient anti-venom medication, and patients who are treated often make it through.
4. Black Mamba
The black mamba is one of the most venomous snakes on earth. It’s thought to be in charge of the majority of snake-related deaths in southern Africa.
Not only does this snake have a deadly bite, but is also large and fast. It is Africa’s biggest venomous snake with a size of up to 10 feet. The snake can reach a speed of 12 mph, which makes it one of the quickest snakes on land.
Like the cobra, it has the ability to elevate its body in the air and usually bites multiple times.
Each fang of this snake has 2 – 3 venom drops at the time it was born. By the time it reaches adulthood, the black mamba holds up to 20 droplets in each fang. With just two droplets, he/she will have symptoms in as short as five minutes. The snake can kill a human within 6-14 hours if he/she doesn’t get treatment. It kills people far faster than any other venomous snake on the planet.
What makes the snake even more dangerous is that its venom can cause cardiac arrest. In 2018, a black mamba snake bit an index finger of a South African man. Within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital, he was already in cardiac arrest. Despite being treated with antivenom, the person died days later. You can see more here.
Moreover, the black mamba’s bite contains analgesic components, giving its victims the impression that they haven’t been bitten, or that the bite isn’t as severe as it is.
5. Coastal Taipan
When reading the name, you may think that this snake exclusively resides near the sea. But this creature can be found across Australia. It’s also the longest snake in this country.
Compared to the relative inland taipan, the coastal taipan (or the common taipan) is less venomous. However, it’s still a dangerous snake that can kill up to 56 people with one bite!
When provoked, it will raise its entire body off the surface and strike fangs-first, injecting venom into its opponent with amazing accuracy.
Because of its remarkable speed, the victims could be bitten numerous times before recognizing it. Once bitten by a coastal taipan, its body may be affected permanently by the neurotoxins in its venom.
Even after receiving medical attention within two hours of being bitten, the victims can still face the risk of respiratory paralysis and kidney damage. In some cases, they can die in less than an hour after being bitten.
6. Russell’s Viper
The Russell’s viper also joins the list of the deadliest snakes. It is one of the most poisonous snakes in India. This snake cause lots of deaths in India, Sri Lanka, and Burma. According to research, there are about 58,000 snakebite-related deaths in India each year. Among those mortalities, the Russell’s viper is the one that kills the most people.
This snake lives in open grasslands and paddy fields throughout the Indian subcontinent. They usually hunt in densely populated regions.
Its bite can cause a wide range of symptoms, including swelling and bleeding, severe kidney failure, and multi-organ destruction. Some venom components associated with clotting can also cause acute strokes.
If patients do not seek medical help, they can die from kidney failure.
7. Eastern Brown Snake
Because of the potency of its venom, the eastern brown snake is regarded as the second-most venomous snake in the world on land. It causes more than 60% of snake bite fatalities in Australia.
The species is drawn to farms and urban areas because of its favored diet (rodents) are there. This explains why humans come across these snakes very often.
The amount of the snake’s venom will be decided by its size. However, this doesn’t mean that the bite of the young is minor. A bite of a juvenile is still lethal.
Eastern brown snake venom selectively attacks coagulation factors in the body, affecting the ability of your blood to clot. Internal hemorrhage and cardiac collapse are major causes of death in this snake
8. King Cobra
When speaking of the most venomous snakes in the world, the king cobra is many people’s top of mind. Its venom is lethal enough to kill 11 people in a single bite. The king cobra, which lives in Southern Asia, can grow to be 10-13 feet long. Some specimens can even reach over 19 feet. It’s the longest venomous snake.
Unlike the inland taipan or the black mamba, the venom of this snake is not really strong. So what makes this species so dangerous and extremely lethal? It’s the huge amount of venom it shoots into victims. At one bite, it can inject about 7 milliliters (about 0.24 fluid ounces) and kill a person in 20 minutes and an adult elephant in a matter of hours.
This world’s largest venomous snake has a keen vision that allows it to detect a moving person from approximately 330 feet (100 meters). When disturbed, the king cobra will adopt an unusual defensive posture. They stretch out their “hood,” or the skin around their heads. Some snakes can even elevate their heads roughly a third of their body length off the ground.
9. Forest Cobra
The forest cobra can kill 65 adults with just one bite. In just 30 minutes, serious symptoms can appear, such as lethargy, immobility, and organ failure.
However, you can barely see these venomous snakes because they avoid human interaction as much as possible. These African snakes like to live alone in woodlands, rivers, and meadows.
The boomslang (also known as the South African green tree snake) is arboreal species. They are found in trees across most of Africa, particularly in Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe Swaziland, and Namibia. These are among the venomous snakes with rear fangs.
The boomslang has an extremely lethal bite; it just takes one bite to kill a person. However, the false feeling that it gives to people after biting them is worse.
If you’re bitten by a boomslang, you won’t see any symptoms, at least not immediately. Many patients believe they were attacked with a dry bite or a nonlethal amount. But the worst is yet to come.
The toxin of this snake inhibits blood from clotting within the body, causing internal bleeding and even hemorrhaging in crucial organs. Victims experience major muscle and brain bleeding, and blood will start pouring out of every potential exit. The blood can get out through nostrils, gum, feces, urine, drool, and the smallest of cuts till the victims die.
A herpetologist – Karl Patterson Schmidt – was bitten by a young boomslang on his thumb. And 24 hours later, his kidneys, brain, eyes, lungs, and heart started to bleed. You can see more here.
Don’t be too worried! You get the antivenom if you go to the hospital in time,
11. Eastern tiger snake
The eastern tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) locate in Australia’s mountains and meadows. Due to the black and yellow stripes on the body, the snake is called so. However, not all individuals have that characteristic. Its lethal venom can damage people within 15 minutes.
12. Dubois’s Sea Snake
The Dubois’ sea snake is a highly venomous snake that is found in the Timor Sea, the Coral Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Arafura Sea. It lives in coral reef flats.
These venomous snakes have the most deadly venom. If disturbed, they may kill a passing scuba diver with a bite! Despite being the most deadly snake on earth, there are very few deaths related to this species.
13. Interesting facts about venomous snakes
The world’s smallest venomous snake is the Namaqua dwarf adder (Bitis schneideri). It lives in Southern Africa.
Gaboon viper is a venomous snake that has the longest fangs, about 2 inches and above.
There are about 30 venomous snake species in the United State. They include the copperhead (2 species), the coral snake (3 species), the rattlesnake (23 species), and the cottonmouth (2 species). The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the most venomous snake in the US.
- In Florida: the rattlesnake (Eastern diamondback, timber, dusky pygmy), the cottonmouth, the eastern coral snake, and the southern copperhead.
- In Texas: the rattlesnake (Western diamondback, timber, mottled rock, banded rock, blacktail, mojave, prairie, Western massasauga, desert massasauga), the cottonmouth (water moccasins), the coral snake, and the copperhead.
- In Ohio: the Northern copperhead, the timber rattlesnake, and the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake.
- In Georgia: the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the Eastern coral snake, the rattlesnake (timber, pigmy, and Eastern diamondback).
- In Michigan: Eastern massasauga rattlesnake
- In Tennessee: the rattlesnake (timber and pygmy), the copperhead, and the cottonmouth.
- In Iowa: the copperhead and the rattlesnake (Eastern massasauga, prairie, and timber).
- In Virginia: the cottonmouth, the timber rattlesnake, and the copperhead.
The venomous snake in the Philippines is the Philipine cobra (Naja philippinensis), sometimes known as the Philippine spitting cobra or the northern Philippine cobra. It lives in the northern Philippines.
In the UK, there is only one venomous snake – the common adder (Vipera berus). However, the snake’s bite is just painful and rarely fatal.
In Jamaica, there is no venomous snake. Brazil is the country that has a large number of snakes, while Ireland is the only place that has no snakes at all.
Of all the world’s most venomous snakes, it is important to remember that most of them do not display aggressive behavior towards humans first. It is important to always maintain respect for these species. All snake species prefer to be left alone and you should let them be!