10 Most Poisonous & Dangerous Snakes In the World

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top 10 most deadliest snake

1. Belcher’s Sea Snake

belcher's sea snake

When most people think of poisonous snakes, the rattlesnake springs to mind pretty quickly. These snakes are found throughout the Americas and are actually a type of viper. Their name comes of course from the rattle which is found at the end of the tail and which creates a distinctive noise. Eastern Diamondbacks are the most poisonous of all rattlesnakes. 

Thankfully, only about 4% of bites result in fatalities with prompt treatment, but untreated, any rattlesnake bite has the potential to kill. The venom can also cause permanent damage to organs and may even lead to the loss of a limb.

Did You Know?
Most Belcher’s Sea Snakes are actually quite harmless thanks to a docile personality and a lack of venom.

2. Rattlesnake

rattle snake

When most people think of poisonous snakes, the rattlesnake springs to mind pretty quickly. These snakes are found throughout the Americas and are actually a type of viper. Their name comes of course from the rattle which is found at the end of the tail and which creates a distinctive noise. Eastern Diamondbacks are the most poisonous of all rattlesnakes.

Thankfully, only about 4% of bites result in fatalities with prompt treatment, but untreated, any rattlesnake bite has the potential to kill. The venom can also cause permanent damage to organs and may even lead to the loss of a limb.

Did You Know?
The largest rattlesnake species is the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), reaching up to 2.4 meters (8 feet) in length and weight 1.8 to 4.5 kilograms (4 to 10 pounds).

3. Death Adder

death addler

You know that famous legend about Cleopatra using a snake to kill herself? The type of snake she supposedly used was a death adder. You can find these snakes throughout Australia, New Guinea, and other regions. A bite can result in paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death inside of only six hours. With fast treatment, a patient is unlikely to die, but without treatment, about 50% of bites are lethal. Death adders also prey on other snakes.

4. Inland Taipan

inland taipan

While it’s difficult to be as impressed by the Inland Taipan after learning about the concentration of venom in a Belcher’s Sea Snake bite, it’d be foolish to discount the Taipan just because its bite can only kill as many as 100 people! Taipans usually avoid human contact, however, and you are unlikely to ever encounter one.

Did You Know?
Inland taipan has excellent eyesight and sense of smell which are used for detection of the prey. Its diet consists of rodents, small mammals and birds.

5. Eastern Brown Snake

eastern brown snake

This type of snake is among the few which are actually aggressive. It is commonly found in Australia, and may be found in populated areas like cities, not just remote locations. If it perceives someone as a threat, it will actually chase that person out of its territory. If the snake is not confident of its safety, it may decide to bite. If it does so, it may bite many times during a single attack.

Less than half contain venom, but those that do can cause paralysis or death. Because of its proximity to population centers and its aggression, you could argue the Eastern Brown Snake is the most dangerous snake in the world.

Did You Know?
Just like all other Australian snake species, the Eastern Brown is protected by law, so killing or capturing is prohibited.

6. Blue Krait

blue krait

This snake is not as well known as some, but its venom is 16 times more potent than that of the cobra! There also is no really good antivenin to use, which makes it quite deadly. The Blue Krait tends to keep to itself and usually only comes out at night, though, so it is generally easy to avoid.

7. Black Mamba

black mamba

This snake is usually found in Africa. A single bite contains enough venom to kill ten people (Just ten? You’re still thinking about that sea snake, aren’t you). It can travel as fast as 20 km/h, which makes it the fastest snake on the planet. The Black Mamba will bite a number of times when it attacks, and if the bite is not treated, it is almost always going to result in death.

8. Tiger Snake

tiger snake

This snake is native to Australia and is recognizable because of it width and yellow bands. The bites are very accurate, and without treatment, will result in death nearly three quarters of the time.

9. Philippine Cobra

philippine cobra

This snake is easily spotted because of its wide neck collar. While cobras inspire fear, most types of cobras don’t even make this list. The Philippine Cobra, however, does. It doesn’t even have to bite you to poison you. All it has to do is spit, and it can do that from 3 meters away and still hit you. Paralysis from the venom can cause death within thirty minutes.

10. Saw Scaled Viper

saw scaled viper

This viper is usually found in the Far East and Middle East, and generally comes out after dark. The main danger with this creature is that the venom is so slow-acting that a victim may make the mistake of waiting too long to seek treatment. Treatment can prevent death in the majority of cases, but without it, death will result slowly and painfully over the course of two to four weeks.

Did You Know?
The fangs of the saw-scaled viper are fairly long and can be folded in the mouth when not in use. They get replaced several times throughout the life of the viper, as new fangs grow at the back of the mouth replacing the old ones.

Now you know the most dangerous snakes in the world. Some are easy to avoid, like the Blue Krait, while others, like the Eastern Brown Snake, may sneak up on you even in the middle of a busy city. Some snakes are dangerous because of the speed or ferocity of their attacks, others because of how common and widespread they are, and still others because their toxins are so deadly. As you can see, though, the majority are not aggressive, and will steer clear of you if you steer clear of them. And even if you do get bit, with prompt treatment, in most cases you will live.

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Josy O’Donnel is the chief editor of Conservation Institute. While completing her bachelors degree, she developed an interest in the study of Earth’s future and the conservation of Earth’s natural resources. Now she is sharing her passion with an online community of people who are devoted spreading awareness and attention to the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.