The Most Deadly Snakes On The Planet

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Ophidiophobia, or the abnormal fear of snakes, according to a report published at Harvard University, is experienced by one-third of adult humans. There are roughly 5.5 million snakebites annually. Of those 5.5 million bites, 1.8 million are envenomings which lead to over 90,000 deaths. Many of the snakes on this list are responsible for those deaths.

King Cobra

Predominantly found in India and parts of Southeast Asia is the King Cobra. The King Cobra is the largest venomous snake on the plant. If bitten, the toxin will attack your central nervous system which can result in pain, vertigo and possibly paralysis. Death can occur in as little as 30 minutes. It has also been reported its toxin is so deadly, it could kill a large elephant.

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Saw-Scaled Viper


The Saw-Scaled Viper is actually the deadliest snake on the planet. It kills more people each year than any other snake. Its venom contains hemotoxins and cyotoxins. Therefore, if bitten, one can expect lots of damage. The venom can lead to multiple bleeding disorders such as the possibility of an intracranial hemorrhage. However, the amount of death may be due to the areas where it is mainly found, as these areas are also lacking modern medicine.

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Black Mamba

Growing up to 14 feet long and slithering up to 12 miles per hour, the Black Mamba is one scary snake. It is the fastest snake on Earth. While attacking, it will bite its victim several times and can deliver enough toxin to kill 10 people. Luckily, there is a antivenin. However, victims must be quick as it needs to be injected within 20 minutes.

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Boomslang

The sub-Saharan African Boomslang’s color may intrigue you to move in for a closer look, but we advise that you stay far away. Along with very large eyes, this snake also has highly potent venom that it delivers through fangs located at the back of its jaw. In order to bite a victim, this snake opens its jaw 170°. The venom is filled with hemotoxins that disable the coagulation process in a human. Furthermore, one may not show signs of envenoming until hours after.

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Tiger Snake

The tiger snake get its name from the colored bands that wrap its body (like a tiger). The tiger snake is mainly found in the southern regions of Australia, as well as, Australia’s costal islands. The first symptom of a bite is localized pain, which will be quickly followed by breathing difficulties and eventually paralysis. Untreated bites have a mortality rate of 40-60%.

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Inland Taipan


The Inland Taipan is one of the most feared snakes in all the world. Rightfully so, as it is also the most venomous snake on the planet. It is also an expert hunter of mammals. Therefore, its venom is adapted to killing warm-blooded species. Its venom has neurotoxins, hemotoxins, and myotoxins which can respectively affect the nervous system, blood, and muscles. If untreated, this venom can cause death.

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Eastern Brown Snake


The eastern brown snake is mainly found along the east coast of Australia. The snake is considered to be the second-most venomous terrestrial snake. Its venom has both neurotoxins and blood coagulants. A bite from the eastern brown snake can cause dizziness, renal failure, paralysis and cardiac arrest. Although it normally only eats rodents, like mice, if it feels threatened, it will bite a human. It is responsible for 60% of snake bite deaths in Australia.

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Common Lacehead


The Common Lacehead inhabits the tropical lowlands of northern South America. The lacehead is generally nocturnal but will hunt during the day if necessary. It is easily agitated and will attack even with the smallest disturbance. The venom is lethal and fast acting. One widely experienced symptom of the venom is temporary or sometimes permanent memory loss.

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Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake


According to National Geographic “The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Some reach 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length and weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).” Although its statistics may seem scary, this rattlesnake will not attack unless provoked. The snake also gives a warning before it attacks by violently shaking its tail. The venom can lead to red blood cell deterioration, tissue damage and even death.

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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

The western diamondback rattle snake is mainly found in the southwestern region of the United States. It is responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in Northern Mexico and the largest number of snakebites in the United States. The western diamondback rattlesnake boasts large fangs in order to deliver a large amount of venom in each bite.

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Philippine Cobra


The Philippine Cobra can attack from very large distances as it is a member of the spitting snakes. This means this cobra is able to accurately spit its venom at its victims up to 9.8 feet away. These cobras are normally founded in forested areas. However, they also enjoy water and can be found around ponds, lakes, and rivers.

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African Puff Adder

The African Puff Adder is found in the African savanna and grasslands. It is the most commonly found snake on the continent. Mainly due to its high prevalence in the area, it is the snake responsible for the most snakebite fatalities in Africa. The puff adder can be very aggressive when it feels threatened and it will strike its prey very quickly.

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Indian Cobra


The Indian Cobra was made recognizable by snake charmers. The cobra is found all over the Indian subcontinent and is considered on of the “big four” snake species. This means it is 1 of 4 species that inflict the most bites on humans in the region. However, as the Indian Cobra has also become a cultural icon, it is protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. Its venom can lead to paralysis of the muscles or even worse cardiac arrest.

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Russell’s Viper


Like the Indian Cobra, Russell’s Viper is considered on of the “big four” species on the Indian subcontinent. It can grow up to 5.5 feet long. The viper is, many times, found in urban areas due to the attraction of its main prey, rodents. Therefore, many humans bitten are those that work in the fields close to urban areas.

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Common Krait


Meet our next member of the “big four” species, the common krait. Also known as the blue krait, this snakes normally eats other snakes and small mammals. If provoked by a human, it will bite and it will clasp onto its victim for awhile, in order to inject the maximum amount of venom. The venom is mainly made of neurotoxins which can cause muscle paralysis.

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Terciopelo Viper

Terciopelo Viper holds the label of being the most dangerous snake in the neotropical rainforest in Central America, as they are responsible for the most bites. Its head can grow up to 4 inches wide and its body up to 8 feet long. Their venom has hemotoxins and can lead to serious complications if a victims is not treated with the antivenin.

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Many-Banded Krait


The highly venomous many-banded krait is found in China and Southeast Asia. Also known as the Taiwanese or Chinese krait, this snake normally hides during the daytime and aggressively hunts at night. If bitten, symptoms will not appear immediately but rather hours later. If a bite is untreated, death is likely 70-100% of the time.

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Malayan Krait


Like the many-banded krait, the malayan krait inhabits much of southeast Asia, as well as Thailand. This snake is extremely deadly as its venom is highly poisonous. It has been reported that even when treated, 50% of this snakes victims succumb to the effects of the venom, normally dying from respiratory failure.

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Common Death Adder


The common death adder is not only the most venomous snake living in Australia but is also one of the most venomous in the world. The death adder is a master of camouflage and will hide in order to sneak up on its prey. However, this masterful trait is also what makes it so dangerous. The common death adder will lay in wait for its prey, when a human accidentally disturbs it. Its venom contains highly potent neurotoxin and death can occur within 6 hours of envenomation.

Eastern Green Mamba


The eastern green mamba mainly inhabits trees in East Africa. It is highly venomous and can grow up to 6.6 feet long. The green mambas have reportedly caused many snakebites in humans, many of which result in death. Furthermore, there was one reported case that someone died in as little as 30 minutes. Other, more likely, symptoms include difficulty breathing, convulsions and nausea.

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Western Green Mamba


The counterpart to the eastern green mamba is the western green mamba, which as you may guess lives in west Africa. Although bites to people are very rare, when a bite does occur, the fatality rate is very high. The venom causes a rapid progression of life-threatening symptoms. Therefore, treatment must be received very quickly to avoid death.

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Forest Cobra


The forest cobra mainly inhabits the central and western parts of Africa, in lowland forests and moist savannas. However, it is also sometimes found in drier climates. Bites to humans can be very dangerous as this snake injects a large amount of venom. Death has been recorded in as little of 30-120 minutes.

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Jararaca


The jararaca inhabits southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. This species of pit-viper lives in open areas, such as farmland. It’s venom is very toxic and can lead to blistering of the affected area and spontaneous systemic bleeding of the gum. However, its venom has also been used for a good purpose. The ACE inhibitor, which is used to treat hypertension and some types of congestive heart failure, is derived from the jararaca venom.

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South American Bushmaster


The South American bushmaster is the longest snake in the western hemisphere, as well as the largest pit-viper in the world. They primarily live in South America and are normally found in equatorial forests. This snake is very mysterious as scientists are not able to study their venom often. The South American bushmaster is highly susceptible to stress. Therefore, they die quickly when kept in captivity.

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Cape Cobra


The cape cobra has a highly potent venom and likes to linger around family homes. Due to these 2 traits it is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in all of Africa. The exact mortality rate from a bite, of the cape cobra, has not been officially recorded. However, it is known that without treatment for the bite one will most likely die from respiratory failure.

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Sharp-Nosed Pit Viper


The sharp-nosed pit viper mainly inhabits southeast Asia and has a highly potent venom full of hemotoxins. The toxins, once injected, will most likely lead to hemorrhaging. The sharp-nosed pit viper is also known as the “hundred pacer”. It is believed that a victim will only be able to walk 100 steps before succumbing to the snake’s venom. Luckily, there is an antivenin.

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Black-Necked Spitting Cobra


The black-necked spitting cobra is best known for projecting its venom at its victims. This cobra is able to accurately hit its victim over 23 feet away. They mainly inhabit sub-saharan Africa and can grow up to 7.2 feet long. Keep your distance if you ever see one as the venom can lead to blisters, inflammation and permanent blindness.

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Gaboon Viper


The Gaboon viper lives in the rainforests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the worlds heaviest viperid and has the longest fangs of 5 centimeters (2 inches). It is normally slow moving and placid, and they are known for lying in wait for hours for their prey to pass by. Due to their docile nature, bites normally only occur when they are stepped on. However, it should be considered a medical emergency when a bite does occur.

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Dugite


The dugite is a venomous snake found in western Australia. Dugites are normally shy and will slither away upon seeing a human. However, like many other snakes, it will attack if they feel cornered. Dugites are considered highly dangerous due to their very potent venom that causes both coagulopathic and procoagulant effects. Although they rarely bite humans, when they do, it is normally during when they are most active in their mating season (October and November).

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King Brown Snake


The king brown snake lives in Australia and is the second longest species of venomous snake on the continent. This snake can grow up to 3 meters long, but their venom is rather weak compared to other species. However, even though their venom may be weak, these snakes can deliver a very large dosage to make up for that. One bite can deliver 600 milligrams of venom. The average snake only injects 180 milligrams.

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Egyptian Cobra


The Egyptian cobra is different from other cobras as it has distinct coloring with a tear-drop mark near its eye. It is one of the largest cobras found in Africa and has very large fangs in order to inject large amounts of venom. The venom attacks a victim’s nervous system which can lead to respiratory failure. Therefore, a bite should be considered a medical emergency.

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Sea Snake


You not only have to watch out for snakes on land, but also in water. The sea snake’s venom is much more toxic than any of its land-dwelling counterparts. Many people who have been bitten work on the water, in trawlers, in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, as sea snakes are many times reeled in with the catch. Symptoms from a bite include blurred vision and respiratory paralysis.

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Mali Cobra

Another species of spitting cobra is the Mali cobra. It mainly inhabits western Africa in areas such as Senegal, Cameroon, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, and multiple other countries. It can live in both tropical and subtropical grasslands, as well as savannas and shrublands. The Mali Cobra is responsible for the most deaths in Senegal and its venom contains postsynaptic neurotoxins, cardiotoxins, and cytotoxins.

Mali Cobra

Red-Bellied Black Snake

The red-bellied black snake gets its name from the vibrant colors it has. The snake is a glossy black on the dorsal surface and a red, crimson or pink color on the belly. It is found in most parts of eastern Australia and is normally not aggressive. However, if it feels threatened it will attack. When it feels threatened it will recoil into a striking stance. Bites are not normally fatal, however, one should still seek medical attention if bitten.

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Costal Taipan


If you are in the northern or eastern regions of Australia or New Guinea beware of the costal taipan. If a bite from this snake is untreated, it is 100% fatal. You would most likely see this snake coming as it is the longest venomous snake in Australia as it can grow up to 6.6 feet long. Its venom contains highly potent neurotoxins and can lead to death in as little as 30 minutes after envenomation.

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Chinese Cobra


The Chinese cobra is responsible for the most snakes bites in the mainland of China and Taiwan. It is one of the most venomous species of cobra. It is a very sly and cunning species, therefore, it is very rarely cornered. However, it will warn you if it feels threatened. The cobra will raise its forebody and spread its hood. Symptoms of a bite include pain and necrosis. There have been reports that even after treatment the necrosis persisted for many years.

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Rhinoceros Viper


The rhinoceros viper, although slow moving, is able to strike very quickly and in all direction. It is very similar to the Gaboon Viper, however, its venom is not as potent. However, if it does feel threatened it will begin to hiss. The hiss has been reported to be the loudest out of all the African snakes. Many locals say the hiss sounds more like shriek.

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Jameson’s Green Mamba

The Jameson’s green mamba has many similar traits to its cousins the eastern and western green mamba. It can grow up to 8 feet and 8 inches long. Its coloring is normally a dull green that blends into a pale green, with black-edged scales. They normally inhabit the rainforests, woodlands and forest-savanna of Africa. Their venom contains highly potent neurotoxins and a bite can result in death between 30-120 minutes.

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Monocled Cobra

The monocled cobra was named after the O-shape, or monocellate, hood pattern. It is found spread across south and southeast Asia in areas with water such as paddy fields or swamps. However, they can easily adapt and have been found in grasslands and forests. The monocled cobra is responsible for the most deaths from snake venom poisoning in Thailand.

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Caspian Cobra


The caspian cobra has a reputation for being very aggressive and bad-tempered. They try to avoid humans, however, will become hostile if necessary. When it feels threatened it will spread its hood, hiss and sway side to side. After this “dance” it will strike and it will strike multiple times. Mainly found in parts of central Asia, the Caspian cobra’s venom can induce drowsiness and weakness as well as paralysis of the limbs.

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