24 Deadliest Snakes in the World

Anjali May 26, 2022 Articles

Deadliest Snakes in the World

The world’s deadliest snakes are known for their speed and camouflage. They are ambush predators that hunt their prey in the dark, usually by surprise. Most of these snakes are found in grasslands but have also been spotted in urban areas.

The most deadly snakes on Earth are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people each year, mostly in Africa and Asia.

In this article, we take a look at the top 24 deadliest snakes in the world, and the reasons why these species are so deadly.

1. Black mamba(Dendroaspis polylepis) –

The black mamba, also known as the deadly hunter, is a dangerous snake that is found in Africa.

Black Mamba is Brown but the interior of its mouth is black that’s why it is called Black Mamba.

black mamba

It is the most venomous snake and one of the deadliest snakes in the world, with a concentrated dose of neurotoxins that can kill a person in just a few minutes.

The black mamba is also the fastest snake on Earth, capable of speeds of up to 16-19 km/h (10-12 mph).

It is commonly found in dense tropical rainforests of southern and eastern Sub-Saharan Africa but has also been spotted in urban areas.

This snake is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually in Africa.

2. Fer-de-lance(Bothrops asper) –

The fer-de-lance, also known as the French killer, is a large grey-brown pit viper with velvet skin, that is found in tropical forest regions of Central and South America.

These snakes are between 1.2 to 2.5 m long and weigh up to 6 kgs. The Fer-de-lance has a yellow beard and flattened head which in french is known as a spearhead.

Due to its yellow beard, it’s also called ​​Barba Amarillas in Spanish.

The snake is carnivorous and feeds primarily on small mammals such as rodents and birds.

It is usually deadly and often happens indoors because of the small size of the snake and the cool, dark environment. Most of the bites happen indoors because it usually lives in their home in search of food.

Fer-de-lance venom causes necrosis, muscle damage, and anti-coagulation of blood which causes systematic bleeding, haemorrhage and rapid death.

3. Boomslang(Dispholidus typus) –

The Boomslang snake is a sub-Saharan South African snake. As its name Boomslang means “Tree Snake”, it attacks by making its body forward like a branch of the tree.

This snake is a highly venomous snake with round big eyes and an egg-shaped head with a length of 1.6 meters, found in southern and eastern Africa and the Middle East.

Boomslang

This snake has a green, brown, and grey colour patterned body with a rear-fanged mouth and it folds its fangs in its mouth when not in use.

The Boomslang venom causes excessive internal-external bleeding and haemorrhage which leads to Death. But there is an antivenom for this Snakebite.

The boomslang snake is venomous and responsible for several deaths each year in southeastern Africa.

4. Eastern tiger snake(Notechis scutatus) –

Eastern Tiger Snakes are native to the Southeastern coast of Australia(mainly wetlands and islands) and are considered one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

These snakes have Tiger like bands on their body that’s why it’s named Tiger Snakes.

Eastern Tiger Snake

These are usually yellow with black bands but their appearances vary from jet black and brown to yellow and black striped according to the region.

Tiger snakes are around 1.2 meters in length and are usually found around wet areas and homes near the coast.

This snake is generally shy and likes to flee rather than attack but if feels threatened and bites then it releases a neurotoxic venom which affects the nervous system of the body and causes paralysis of the body.

Snakebite of Tiger Snake is fatal if not treated within 15 minutes.

5. Russell’s viper(Daboia russelii) –

Russell’s Vipers are native to the Indian Subcontinent and responsible for the majority of permanent disability and Snakebite deaths every year in South Asia.

It is one of the deadliest snakes in the world and causes painful bites of all venomous snakes.

Russell’s viper

These Snakes have a yellow, brown, tan or white coloured body with a distinctive ring pattern on their body. These are very aggressive snakes which are quick to bite.

These are fast snakes when they feel threatened and make loud hiss before attacking. They usually hide in the field of rice paddies, croplands or storage of crops making s-shape coiling.

These snakes release hemotoxic venom and they have a large venom yield(150-250mg) which can kill mice in seconds.

Victim of this Snakebite dies from excessive bleeding, kidney failure and multiple organ damage.

Around 25000 mortalities are caused annually by the Snakebite of this deadliest snake.

6. Saw-scaled viper(Echis carinatus) –

It also known as Indian viper or Indian adder is another species of venomous snake which is native to the Indian Subcontinent, part of the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

These snakes are small and fastest striking snakes. It is one of the most aggressive, deadliest snakes in the world and is known to be one of the most venomous species of snakes in the world.

Saw-scaled viper

The venom of these snakes is highly complex and lethal and is a concoction of many types of venom such as cytotoxin, neurotoxin, hemotoxin and cardiotoxin.

After the bite of this snake, a person suffers from localized swelling and severe pain.

Other more dangerous symptoms are haemorrhage, coagulation defects and acute kidney injury.

The mortality rate of this snake bite is very high but if a person gets antivenom at right time then there are chances of survival. There are 9 types of antivenom available for the snake bite of Saw-scaled viper.

These snakes cause Snakebite deaths in India and Pakistan, Africa every year.
In India alone, there are 5000 human deaths occur annually due to snake bites of this snake.

7. Banded krait(Bungarus fasciatus) –

The banded krait is a species of venomous snake found in Asia. It is also known as a relative of the Cobra snake and is one of the most venomous and deadliest snakes in the world.

This snake is characterized by black, white and yellow bands on its body. It is a small to medium-sized snake with a stumpy tail but is considered to be highly venomous.

It is nocturnal(slow in daylight) and feeds on other snakes, fishes, and frogs and sometimes they are also known to feed on another krait.

Its venom has neurotoxin which causes muscle paralysis, can stop the diaphragm from moving and can cause suffocation.

There is a 70-80% mortality rate which happens when there is poor treatment or no possible treatment(sometimes paralysis has developed in the patient and it can not be reversed).

In India alone, there are 10,000 fatalities per year from the snake-bite of Kraits.

8. King Cobra(Ophiophagus hannah) –

King Cobra is a species of venomous snake found in Asia(mainly South-East Asia).

It is also known as Raja Krait, Indian Cobra and more commonly referred to as the King of Snakes.

This snake is one of the largest species of snakes in the world. It can grow up to 18 ft i.e. 5.5 meters(sometimes up to 15 meters).

king cobra

This snake has impressive eyesight, it can see a person moving from 100 meters.

This snake forms a hood-like shape with its head, can lift its one-third length above the ground and make a loud growl when threatened and in a mode of attack.

It is a heavy-bodied snake capable of delivering a huge amount of venom in a single bite and is known for giving successive 2,3 bites which is enough to kill a human in 15 minutes and an elephant in a few hours.

It is a non-aggressive snake, avoids human contact and usually lives in the deep forest. It feeds on other snakes and animals also it can feed on other cobras too.

It’s not likely for King Cobra to attack any human but if threatened it can bite you and if it decides to inject you with successive doses of venom then chances of survival are very slim.

Neurotoxins present in its venom can paralyze the person’s body and can prevent breathing.

The fatality rate of this snake bite depends on the amount of venom injected by it into your body.

9. Coastal taipan(Oxyuranus scutellatus) –

The Coastal Taipan is one of the deadliest snakes in Australia. It is also known to be a member of the Elapid family.

It is found on the east coast of Australia in the areas of Queensland and New South Wales and Western Australia and the species is endemic to the mainland.

It has a flattened rectangular head, large eyes, and a uniform colour that ranges from yellow to brown. It goes under seasonal changes in the colour of its body.

The Coastal Taipan is the biggest of Australia’s three taipan species and can grow up to 1.5-2 meters in length.

The coastal taipan is one of the world’s most venomous and also one of the fastest snakes. It will bite you multiple times before you can see it(thanks to its fast speed).

It is highly aggressive and when it feels threatened it can bite multiple times with efficiency and accuracy. It has the longest fang of any Australian snake(up to 13 mm).

It feeds on warm-blooded prey like mammals, mice, rats, birds and skinks. It is primarily diurnal but becomes nocturnal in hot weather conditions.

Its venom has a high level of neurotoxin and can cause paralysis, internal bleeding, coagulation defect, headache, vomiting, convulsions (especially in children) and kidney damage.

Bites of this snake are almost always deadly, untreated bite of this snake has a 100% mortality rate.

10. Inland taipan(Oxyuranus Microlepidotus) –

The inland taipan is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. It is also known as the desert or western taipan.

It is a member of the Elapidae family. It is found in the desert areas of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The Inland taipan is a large(up to 6 ft) and fierce snake but it has shy nature and avoids human contact. It will attack in defence if provoked.

It feeds on warm-blooded, that’s why it hunts small and medium-sized mammals like rats, mice etc.

It has the most lethal venom, its single bite venom(100mg) is enough to kill 100 people in under an hour.

Its venom contains a mixture of neurotoxin, hemotoxin, myotoxin, taipoxin and an enzyme called hyaluronidase which causes this venom to be absorbed quickly by the body of the victim.

Despite having the most lethal venom among all snakes in the world, it is not considered as the deadliest snake in the world because it rarely comes in human contact.

Death rate caused by bite of this Snake is very low cause it lives in remote areas and is very nonindigenous to populated places.

11. Gaboon viper(Bitis Gabonica) –

The Gaboon viper is a large, venomous snake found in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is the heaviest member of the viper family, and can grow up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in length. The Gaboon viper is characterized by its large size, large triangular head, and vivid markings.

The Gaboon viper is found in rainforests, swamps, and savannas throughout tropical Africa.

It is a reclusive snake that is seldom seen by humans. When threatened, the Gaboon viper will often adopt a coiled stance and strike with little warning.

The Gaboon viper feeds primarily on rodents and other small mammals. It is equipped with long(upto 2 inches), sharp fangs that can inject a large amount of venom into its prey.

The venom of the Gaboon viper is primarily composed of hemotoxic components, which cause tissue damage and lead to internal bleeding. The Gaboon viper’s venom is considered to be among the most potent of all snake venoms.

Despite its large size and deadly venom, the Gaboon viper is not considered to be a particularly dangerous snake to humans. This is due in part to its reclusive nature, and also because bites from the Gaboon viper are often not fatal.

However, bites from this snake can still cause severe pain, swelling, and tissue damage.

12. Eastern brown snake(Pseudonaja textilis) –

The eastern brown snake is a species of venomous snake found in Australia and New Guinea.

The eastern brown snake is found throughout eastern Australia, from the central coast of Queensland to the southern coast of Victoria. It is also found in New Guinea and some nearby islands.

It is considered to be the second-most venomous land snake in the world, after the Inland taipan. And it is responsible for the majority of snake bite fatalities in Australia.

The eastern brown snake is a relatively small snake, growing to an average length of 1.5-2 metres. It is brown in colour, with a paler belly, and has a distinctive dark stripe running down the length of its body.

The eastern brown snake is found in a wide variety of habitats, from open forests and grasslands, to suburban areas and even coastal regions.

It is a highly adaptable snake, and is often found in areas where there is a high human population density. Its favourite food is house mouse.

The eastern brown snake is a highly venomous snake, and its venom is capable of causing serious illness or death in humans if not treated promptly. Its venom causes coagulation, haemorrhage and cardiac arrest.

The eastern brown snake is responsible for the majority of snake bite fatalities in Australia(almost 60%), with an estimated fatality rate of between 2 and 5%.

13. Blue Malayan Coral Snake(Calliophis bivirgatus) –

The Blue Malayan Coral Snake is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

It is a brightly colored snake with a blue body and orange-red stripes and has a red head and tail.

It grows to about 1.8 meters in length and It has unusually large venom gland covering almost 25% of its body.

It is a shy snake and is seldom seen by people. The Blue Malayan Coral Snake feeds on small mammals and reptiles.

Its venom doesn’t contain any neurotoxin but it contains a unique cytotoxin called Calliotoxin.

This cytotoxin causes instantaneous paralysis by affecting the prey’s sodium channels. This snake requires this type of venom for its venomous preys like King Cobra.

There’s not any antivenom for the Blue Malayan Coral Snake although human fatalities are rare.

14. Olive Sea Snake(Aipysurus laevis) –

The olive sea snake is a venomous snake found in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region.

It is a member of the elapid family of snakes, which includes cobras, mambas, and sea snakes.

The olive sea snake is easily recognizable by its bright green coloration and black bands.

It is a relatively small snake, averaging around 3 to 6 feet in length.

The olive sea snake is found in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific region. It is commonly seen in reefs and nearshore waters.

The snake is an excellent swimmer and often found in the open sea. It usually prefers to hunt at night and hide in day.

The olive sea snake which is also known as Golden Sea Snake and is a non-aggressive snake not known to attack humans unless provoked.

The olive sea snake feeds primarily on fish, but can also eat eels, crabs, and shrimp.

Its venom is primarily composed of neurotoxins, which paralyze the nervous system of its prey.

The venom is not usually fatal to humans, but can cause severe pain, swelling, and tissue damage. In some cases, it can also lead to paralysis and respiratory failure.

15. Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) –

The Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) Snake is a venomous snake found in the southeastern United States.

The cottonmouth is a semi-aquatic snake and can be found near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and swamps. It is an aggressive snake and will strike if provoked.

It is a large and heavily built snake, with a thick body and a wide head. Adults can reach up to 180 cms in length. The snake is dark brown or black in color, with a distinctive pattern of dark bands across its body.

The cottonmouth gets its name from the white lining of its mouth, which is visible when the snake is threatened.

The Cottonmouth is found in swamps, marshes, and other wetland habitats. It is a good swimmer and often hides among aquatic vegetation.

The Cottonmouth is a pit viper, meaning it has heat-sensing pits on either side of its head that help it locate prey.

The Cottonmouth feeds primarily on fish, frogs, and small mammals. It is an ambush predator, lying in wait for its prey to come within striking range.

The venom of the cottonmouth is dangerous to humans and can cause serious illness or death. The fatality rate from a cottonmouth bite is low, but prompt medical treatment is essential.

16. Eastern Coral Snake(Micrurus fulvius) –

The Eastern coral snake is a brightly colored, venomous snake found in the southeastern United States. It is a member of the Elapidae family, which includes cobras, mambas, and sea snakes.

The Eastern coral snake is found in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

It is a shy snake that is rarely seen, but when it is seen, it is often in the spring or fall.

The Eastern coral snake body has black and red rings with narrow bands of red, yellow and white. It is usually about 2-3 feet long, but can grow up to 5 feet long.

The Eastern coral snake feeds on small reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.

It is shy and secretive, so much so that its diet is not well known. What is known is that the Eastern coral snake is capable of eating prey larger than itself.

The Eastern coral snake has a highly potent venom that can cause paralysis and respiratory failure. A bite from this snake is very serious and requires immediate medical attention.

The Eastern coral snake is not considered to be aggressive, but will bite if it feels threatened.

The fatality rate from an Eastern coral snake bite is very low, but it is still a potentially deadly snake.

17. Common Death Adder((Acanthophis antarcticus) –

The Common Death Adder is a venomous snake found in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. It is a member of the Elapidae family, which includes cobras, mambas, and sea snakes.

The snake is usually brown or black with a yellow or white belly, and can grow up to 2 to 3 meters in length.

The snake’s head is large and triangular, with a distinct black “mask” around the eyes. death adders have two long, curved fangs that are used to inject venom into their prey.

The Common Death Adder feeds primarily on small mammals and birds. The snake will lie in wait for its prey, then strike quickly, injecting venom into the victim through its fangs.

The Common Death Adder is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in Australia due to its highly toxic venom and aggressive behavior.

The venom is a powerful neurotoxin that quickly paralyzes the victim, leading to death within 6 hours. So if you are bitten by a Common Death Adder, you will need immediate medical attention.

18. South American Bushmaster(Lachesis muta) –

The South American bushmaster snake is found in tropical regions of South America, including parts of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.

It is a large snake, typically measuring 2-3 meters in length, and is the heaviest venomous and one of the deadliest snakes in the world, with some specimens exceeding 10 kg (22 lb).

The snake is characterized by its large size, dark coloration, and triangular head.

The South American bushmaster snake feeds primarily on rodents and other small mammals, but has been known to occasionally eat lizards, birds, and even other snakes.

The snake’s venom is extremely potent, and is composed of both neurotoxic and cytotoxic components. The venom is capable of causing tissue damage and paralysis, and is fatal to humans in approximately 50% of cases.

Despite its size and venom potency, the South American bushmaster snake is not considered to be a major threat to humans. This is due in part to its shy and reclusive nature, and also because it is found in remote, rural areas where human contact is relatively rare.

However, the snakebite should still be treated with caution and respect, as it is capable of inflicting serious injury or death.

19. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake(Crotalus Adamanteus) –

The eastern diamondback rattle snake is found in the southeastern United States, from Florida to North Carolina.

It is the largest venomous snake in North America, with adults reaching lengths of up to 8 feet.

The eastern diamondback has a distinctive diamond-shaped pattern on its back, and a rattle at the end of its tail. The snake is typically brown or gray in color, with a white or yellowish underside.

It is a Pit viper, which means it has heat-sensing pits on its head that help it to locate prey. The eastern diamondback preys on a variety of animals, including rodents, rabbits, and birds.

The eastern diamondback is a highly venomous snake, and its bite can be fatal to humans.

The eastern diamondback’s venom is primarily composed of hemotoxic proteins, which break down red blood cells and cause tissue damage. And there is also a neurotoxin in snake’s venom that can cause paralysis and death.

A single bite from an eastern diamondback can inject up to 500 mg of venom, and the snake can deliver up to 12 times that amount in a single attack.

Despite its reputation, the eastern diamondback is not aggressive and will only strike if it feels threatened. If you encounter an eastern diamondback, it is important to stay calm and avoid making sudden movements.

If you are bitten by an eastern diamondback, seek medical attention immediately. The eastern diamondback is responsible for more snakebite fatalities than any other species of snake in the United States.

20. Copperhead(Agkistrodon contortrix) –

The Copperhead Snake is a venomous snake found in the United States. It is a member of the viper family and is found in the eastern and central parts of the country.

The snake is usually brown or reddish in color with a copper-colored head. It gets its name from the copper-colored head. The snake can grow to be up to two feet in length.

The copperhead snake is a shy and reclusive snake that is rarely seen by humans. The snake is nocturnal and spends most of its time hiding in dark places during the day.

The snake’s venom is not very strong and is not considered to be a threat to humans unless they are allergic to it. The snake is found in wooded areas and is often seen in the spring and summer months.

The snake is not considered to be very dangerous to humans and the fatality rate from its bite is very low.

21. Beaked Sea Snake(Enhydrina schistosa) –

The beaked sea snake is a venomous snake found in the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

It is a relatively small snake, growing to an average length of around 1.5m. The snake has a distinctive beaked head, and its body is covered in small, keeled scales.

It spends most of its time hiding in reefs or in the sand. It comes out to hunt for fish.

The beaked sea snake feeds on small fish, eels, and amphibians.

It is considered to be one of the most venomous and deadliest snakes in the world, with a venom that is highly toxic to humans.

The snake’s venom is composed of neurotoxins, which can cause paralysis and respiratory failure.

The beaked sea snake is responsible for a large number of sea snakebite deaths each year with a fatality rate of 50-60%.

22. Stiletto Snake(Atractaspidinae) –

The stiletto snake is a venomous snake found in Africa. It is a member of the viper family and is known for its long, thin body and sharp rotating fangs.

The snake is usually brown or black in color, with small eyes and can grow up to 12-16 inches in length.

The stiletto snake feeds on small mammals and reptiles, and is considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa.

This is also known as side stabbing snake which can stab with its rotating fangs and sometimes can even stab with its mouth shut. If a victim thumb is bitten by this snake then he may loose his thumb.

The snake’s venom is highly toxic and can cause severe tissue damage, paralysis, and even death. The snake’s fatality rate is estimated to be between 5 and 10%.

23. Belcher’s Sea Snake (Hydrophis Belcheri) –

Hydrophis belcheri, commonly known as Belcher’s sea snake, is a species of venomous sea snake.

It is found in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean, from the Philippines to northern Australia.

The snake is named after the English explorer and navigator Admiral Sir Edward Belcher.

It is considered to be one of the most venomous snake in the world, with a toxicity level that is estimated to be 10 times that of the inland taipan.

Belcher’s sea snakes are easily recognizable due to their bright yellow or greenish-yellow coloration.

They have black bands on their bodies, which become narrower towards the tail. Adults can reach lengths of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet).

Belcher’s sea snakes are commonly found in coastal waters, but can also be found in estuaries and rivers. They are usually found in areas with sandy or muddy bottoms.

Belcher’s sea snakes primarily feed on fish. They are capable of swalloing prey up to twice their own diameter.

Due to the high toxicity of their venom, they are able to subdue their prey quickly and with little struggle.

The snake’s venom is highly neurotoxic, and is capable of causing paralysis and death within hours if left untreated.

24. Blue Krait (Bungarus Candidus) –

The blue krait is a snake that is found in South and Southeast Asia.

It is a highly venomous, one of the deadliest snakes in the world and is responsible for a large number of snakebite fatalities in the region.

The Blue Krait is easily distinguished from other snakes by its bright blue colouration.

Blue Kraits have slender body which is black with white, gray or tan bands.The Average length of these snakes is 108 cms.

The snake is nocturnal and often active during the monsoon season. It is a shy, reclusive snake and will often retreat if confronted.

It feeds primarily on rodents and other small mammals and also likes to feed on other snakes.

The snake’s venom is highly potent and can cause paralysis and death within hours.

The Blue Krait is responsible for a large number of snakebite deaths each year, particularly in rural areas of Asia where access to medical care is limited.

The fatality rate is 60-70% if the snakebite remains untreated.

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