14 Most Poisonous Snakes on Earth
This website is dedicated to delivering all the information you need to know about the most venomous snakes on planet earth.
This data is obtained after referring to various books and sites related to this subject.
Snakes or Serpents are often discussed as being one of the most dangerous creatures in the world’s reptile realm.
The reason is the poison it carries is life-threatening.
A common myth associated with venomous snakes is that they will attack humans.
Although snakes will attack humans, it is usually only when they are threatened or provoked.
Many snakes are shy creatures that will hide from any human contact.
Despite what you may have seen in the movies and on TV, snakes do not regularly hang from trees or lie in wait for you ready to jump from the underbrush.
Snakes that deliver a deadly bite usually do so through retractable, hollow fangs.
Fluid sacs in the back of their heads store the venom and when a snake strikes it does so by extending its fangs deep into the victim and releasing the venom.
This also allows the snake to extend its reach for its prey.
The only exception to this is the Cobra snake which has non-retractable fangs and must attack relatively nearby prey.
Most snake bites do not have to be fatal.
If the venom is removed from the person in a short amount of time, or appropriate anti-venom administered after the bite most people will recover.
Timing is the important element here as in most cases the bite can be fatal in less than 5 minutes.
#1. Belcher’s sea snake or Faint-banded Sea Snake
It is found across the water region of South East Asia and Northern Australia.
The 1/4 bite of the snakes will contain poisonous venom, a few milligrams of its venom are proved to be meek enough to kill almost 1000 people.
The fishermen have come across to be the victims of this species while pulling off nets from oceans.
See A Belcher’s Sea Snake in This Video
There are many factors that can determine how dangerous a snake is. The first clue is to look at the snake’s habitat, and how likely a person is to come into contact with a particular snake.
Many lists of venomous snakes completely omit any sea snake from their results simply because the likelihood of a person coming into contact with one of these snakes is very rare, and the odds are even lower of the interaction resulting in a bite.
In addition, these snakes are shy and difficult to observe, and many of them are still a complete mystery to scientists.
#2. Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake
The next venomous snake, who holds the topmost position to be mentioned by snake experts is Inland taipan.
Though scientists differ on their classifications of venomous verses dangerous snakes, there is a consensus that the Inland Taipan typically found in the Savannah grasslands and arid areas [Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia.] of Australia, is the most poisonous snake on land.
The scientific name of the Inland Taipan is Oxyuranus microlepidotus. Its animal classifications are kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class epithelia, order Squamata, Elapidae family, and genus Oxyuranus.
The Inland Taipan [Oxyuranus microlepidotus] is brown and tends to a progressively darker shade of brown towards the head.
Overall, its head and neck have a distinctly darker hue of brown. The snake adapts its color according to the seasons and in the hotter summer months, it is lighter colored than in the colder months when it becomes much darker.
This adaptation, thermoregulation, helps the snake to absorb more heat during the colder months and to absorb less heat in the warmer months.
The Inland Taipan is an attractive snake with neatly arranged diamond-shaped scales with a lighter almost yellow coloration on the underbelly of the snake.
It has a large round eye with a dark pupil and a large pupil, with a darker hue around the edges that only becomes obvious when light reflects at an angle. On average, this most venomous snake is large at adulthood growing to 1.8 meters on average and can grow up to an intimidating 3.7 meters.
Inland taipan is the most venomous snake on earth.
Watch Video of Inland taipan Snake
However, beautiful as this snake is, its bite contains fast-acting neurotoxins [ contains 110 mg of venom in its single bite, which is more than enough to kill nearly 100 people and 25,000 mice. (in theory)] that attack the nervous system and paralyze the breathing system.
Not to worry though (unless you live in Australia), as these snakes are virtually unknown outside Austria.
Victims assuredly die from respiratory failure within hours if they do not receive anti-venom. It is known to be 10 times venomous compared to Mojave’s Rattlesnake and 50 times venomous than Indian Cobra.
The Inland Taipan has an alternate name, the fierce snake, that suggests that:
it is a temperamental snake likely to attack an unwitting victim.
However, that perception is false, and the Inland Taipan is a shy and laid-back snake that will most often slither away from the disturbance.
In the last decade, the majority of people who have had a bite from this venomous reptile are herpetologists working with the snake.
The beauty about the snake’s venom is that it can be used to create antivenom.
This provides a rapid cure for the snake’s bite.
The process of creating this antivenom will start by taking venom from the snake.
After a sample is taken, it is injected into animals such as horses which will develop antibodies to fight the venom.
These antibodies will then be taken from the animal’s blood, which will then be used to form antivenom.
When this antivenom is injected to a person bitten by the wicked dangerous reptile, it will work to neutralize the venom rendering it harmless. This will, in turn, save the victim’s life.
It prefers to hide in the cracks and crevices of abandoned animal burrows, which enable it to stay away from the scourging heat of the Savannah and dry lands where it is commonly found.
However, if disturbed, this most venomous snake will flatten its head, almost like the cobra, flash the flattened head back and forth and then strike the victim several times with its deadly bite.
As with most biting snakes, it will quickly disappear from the scene immediately after.
The Inland Taipan’s diet is similar to that of many snakes. It feeds on rats, lizards, small marsupials, and even birds.
In line with its shy nature, it will strike its prey with one well-aimed bite, slither away, wait patiently for the animal to die, and then return to eat.
Typically, this most venomous snake will produce about 12 to 24 eggs in one reproductive cycle.
In most cases, most inland taipan snakes deposit eggs in deep cracks, or unused animal burrows and rarely near human activity; this reduces the snake-human conflict.
The incubation period of its eggs ranges from 55 to 65 days, and the young quickly learn to fend for themselves.
The number of eggs that the snake produces increase considerably when it has a lot of food to eat. In its natural habitat, rats tend to multiply greatly in some seasons. When the rats increase, then the Inland Taipan will produce more eggs.
Fortunately, this species is not particularly aggressive. In fact, the only bites on record are from people who seek out the snake in the wild or keep them in captivity.
#3. Eastern Brown snake
Eastern brown snake is known to be one of the most venomous snakes in the earth.
It’s 1/14000 ounce is found to be deadly enough for an adult.
Eastern brown snake is known to be the most dangerous snake among the varieties of snake species.
Here is a video of an Eastern brown snake
Australia is happened to be known as the home ground of this species. The Eastern brown snake is being known to be aggressive and fast.
It is happened to be a chaser to the aggressors and repeatedly strikes on them under any circumstances. The venom comprises the mix of blood coagulants and neurotoxins.
The snakes are known to be so powerful that a puerile possess an ability to kill an adult. This snake reacts only to the movements, so if anyone encounters this species, is being advised to stand steel to avoid an encounter.
#4. The Blue Krait or Many-banded Krait
The Blue Krait or the Malayan krait is one of the deadly among the species.
The 50% of its bite is proven to be fatal enough to kill a human being.
See A Blue Krait here!
The Blue krait is a snake hunter. It is known to kill other species of snakes and eats them.
This species is a diurnal one and happens to be more aggressive under the wrap of darkness.
The venom contains a neurotoxin, which is 16 times influential enough than of a Cobra.
The venom quickly causes muscle paralysis by foreclosing the power of nerve endings to release a chemical which helps in transferring a message from one nerve to the next.
#5. Coastal Taipan Snake
Coastal Taipan is one of the most venomous among other of its species.
Its drastic venom has the ability to wipe out 12000 guinea pigs.
It is adversely neurotoxic.
Coastal Taipans are highly venomous and incredibly smart. See in this video.
Death was inevitable for a Taipan bite prior to the invention of antivenin.
Even with the application of antivenin, the victims are to be kept in intensive care. It’s quite well compared to the African Black Mamba in behavior, morphology.
#6. Black Mamba
One of Africa’s deadly terror is the Black Mamba.
It is found in various parts of the continents. They are adversely aggressive and can strikes up to twelve times in a row.
They are also known to be the fastest among its species around the globe with up to 20 km/hr speed.
The Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is one of Africa’s most dangerous snakes. Know more about him in this video.
A single strike can easily kill 10-25 adults. It’s highly neurotoxic.
Each strike delivers about 100-120 mg of venom.
If victims are not taken care of after being beaten, the situation drastically deteriorates over time and may result in death.
#7. Tiger snake
Tiger snake is one of the venomous snakes with a highly potent neurotoxic venom.
Usually, death occurs right after the strike but we can even take 6-24 hours.
Tiger snakes are potentially deadly: Keep away
Symptoms result in mild foot pain, pain in the neck region, breathing difficulties and even result in paralysis.
On being encountered this fast, fragile and furious serpent prefers to flee, but if cornered, it might get highly aggressive.
#8. Australian Brown snake
The Australian brown snake is a strong contender for most venomous, simply due to the fact that they frequent many of the same areas that people choose to live.
In addition to being highly venomous, the Eastern brown snake (a subspecies of the Australian brown) is quite aggressive.
The Brown Snake: The cause of 60% of snakebite deaths in Australia and the second most deadly snake in the world
This means they are responsible for many bites per year and are even known to bite their target repeatedly when disturbed.
#9. Coral snake: The Deadly Little Snake
The coral snake also frequently tops lists of the “most venomous,” and for good reason.
The coral snake is found worldwide, but primarily calls the Australian home, but is no stranger to North America.
This little fellow is rather shy but packs powerful venom that is fatal to humans.
You may have heard an old rhyme, “red next to yellow can kill a fellow; red next to black is a friend of Jack” that is used to help people identify the red and yellow markings and their venomous owner.
Amazingly, coral snakes are relatively small, usually averaging no more than 24” in total length.
They spend most of their time underground and really are shy creatures that don’t like to move around much.
Due to their small size, children often pick them up not realizing the danger of that the coral snake packs with its venomous bite.
In North America, the Coral Snake tops as one of the most dangerous and deadliest.
Because of the nature of their fangs, they tend to hold their victims for a longer period of time than snakes with retractable fangs, delivering a larger dose of venom.
In addition, the neurotoxin that is injected does not cause a great deal of immediate pain, despite its potential lethality.
This can cause a person to delay getting essential treatment.
The venom of this snake contains a neurotoxin that shuts down the central nervous system, rending the victim paralyzed.
However coral snakes are notoriously shy, and most bites are the result of handling the snake by curious hikers or gardeners.
Coral Snake – The Most Venomous Snake in North America. Watch im here.
Their bite itself can be tricky to diagnose.
In most humans, it may take up to 24 hours for the full effects to manifest, and often after the initial strike, there is little to no reaction at all in the victim.
It is for this reason that coral snake bites are sometimes thought of as non-urgent, when in fact the victim should seek immediate treatment.
Coral snakes enjoy a diet of mostly other, smaller snakes and small lizards.
They enjoy a small rodent now and then as well.
Considering the size of their prey, the venom they possess in many times stronger than what is needed to subdue their next meal.
The coral snake can be tricky, even in death.
Recently deceased coral snakes may still have a bit of a bite reflex left in them and just snagging yourself on the fang of a deceased coral can still introduce enough venom to be fatal.
As a rule of thumb, a coral dead or alive should be avoided.
Sometimes big things come in small packages.
That is certainly the case with the coral snake where the small snake packs a deadly, venomous bite that may reach out to you – even after its dead.
#10. Cobra Snakes: Beware the Venom!
Cobra snakes are one of the most venomous snakes known to man.
With their fangs containing a powerful neurotoxin that paralyzes their prey.
A native of Asia and Africa, Cobras are most widely recognized for their hood, a flap of skin and muscle behind the head which it can flare up to appear larger than it really is.
Cobras are plentiful in Southeast Asia where they have been known to show up inside houses.
However, contrary to popular belief the Cobra does not prefer to strike humans.
Using its hood, and a loud hiss, many people think the Cobra is about to attack when in reality it is only trying to scare them away.
There are less than five reported Cobra deaths worldwide per year related to humans.
Cobras are also slow to strike, in part because they have short fangs that are non-retractable.
This means that their prey must be within distance of their erect body, which is usually less than two feet.
For the most part, Cobras eat other snakes and lizards that are an easy catch given their limitations.
Snake charmers, primarily located in India, use Cobras as part of their act.
Usually, the snakes used in the performance are non-venomous, having their poison glands removed.
By playing an instrument, usually a flute, the snakes appear to be mesmerized by the music and rise from a basket or other container.
In reality, the Cobra has a very poor hearing and is reacting to the vibrations of the sound that travels along the ground.
The natural habitat for a Cobra is the edges of forests and in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Cobras also frequent farmlands near villages, which is where they have their encounters with humans most often.
As more of the Asian countryside gets cleared away, there are ever increasing reports of encounters with humans – although rarely fatal.
Cobras have provided advances in medicine thanks to their venom.
The study of the venom has led to the development of Cobroxin, a pain reliever that blocks never transmissions and Nyloxin, which is used for severe arthritis pain.
In India and parts of Southeast Asia, the Cobra is considered sacred.
Many people in these areas consider the power of the Cobra to be Godlike.
Rituals in these areas often consist of people scratching themselves with venom from the Cobra in an attempt to become immune to it.
Though often thought of like a snake you don’t want to mess with, Cobras are dangerous only when provoked.
As with most snakes, the Cobra is feared more in our mind and culture than it really should be.
#11. The King of the Hill: King Cobra Snakes
The King Cobra snake is by far the largest and most venomous snake in the world.
Mainly found in Asia, this guy average a body length of 13 feet and just two-tenths of an ounce of its venom is enough to kill 20 people.
When this guy strikes, he means business!
However, despite its deadly venom, the King Cobra typically causes less than 5 deaths per year worldwide.
Part of this is because the King Cobra is more cautious than other smaller snakes and will only attack humans when it is cornered, in self-defense or to protect its eggs.
In contrast, rattlers in the United States kill an estimated 25 people per year.
Located mainly in Asia, the King Cobra calls the range from India to Indonesia it’s primary home.
Preferring to live and nest in clearings and the edges of forests.
As more forests are cleared for development encounters with these guys are becoming more frequent.
Their diet consists mainly of other snakes and lizards. To track its prey, it relies on both its sight and by tasting the air with its tongue to track both location and direction.
Active by day, the King Cobra can often be found in vegetation away from most contact with other animals and humans.
The King Cobra prefers not to strike whenever possible.
Instead, when startled it will rear its head up and spread its neck to form a hood.
Swaying back and forth this natural defense mechanism is meant to intimidate its attacker.
However, the intruder must make a hasty departure, as this guy will not wait around long for it to decide to leave.
While possessing the world’s most deadly venom, the King Cobra is a snake that prefers to be left alone and will not strike unless provoked.
Though not something you would want to run into on a daily basis if you ever find yourself up against one of these just quickly reverses and head out of its path.
#12. Viper Snakes: The Heat Sensing Snake
Viper snakes are present around the world in over 80 different species.
Calling home to North, Central and South America, as well as parts of Asia, the most common species of Vipers known to many are the rattlesnakes.
Vipers are highly venomous, containing hollow fangs that are hinged and fold back against the roof of the mouth.
This special trait allows for a viper to strike prey and dig their fangs deep inside, releasing the sacs of venom stored behind the upper jaw.
The toxicity of the venom depends on species but it is generally considered the least toxic of all snakes and can easily be treated.
Vipers have a poor digestive system and rely on their venom to break down and start dissolving tissue of their prey.
Dinner for a Viper can include anything from small rodents, birds to lizards.
Some species of vipers have special heat-sensing pits in their heads that allows them to track prey and other threats as it moves around.
So sensitive are these pits that they can track fractions of a degree variance.
Vipers have a wide range of living conditions with some species living in deserts, while other calls the rainforest home.
There are a few that even call bodies of water their preferred habitat of choice.
Most active at night to avoid the extreme heat and when their preferred prey is most active, the heat sensing pits of some allow them to find cooler areas to rest during the days.
Vipers generally do not attack humans, as they tend to be a shy and reclusive snake.
Most encounters with Vipers are at night where many are killed crossing roads in search of prey.
The recent urban explosion in many South American countries has meant the destruction of rainforest that many call home.
#13. Rattle Snakes: Listen for the “Rattle”
The Rattlesnake is one of only four snakes in Northern America that has a venomous strike that can be fatal to the human.
These creatures come in 16 different varieties and each of the continental states in the US has at least one variety present.
Let’s take a closer look at these sometimes dangerous creatures.
You will often find the Rattlesnake in areas where there is an abundant supply of small rodents, as this is their prey of choice.
They are named for the rattle found at the tip of their tails that are used to scare off any potential threats.
They are most active during the nights and early evening and are often found in areas where there are abundant vegetation and cover.
Rattle Snakes in the US are mostly a southern creature but are known to inhabit every state in the lower 48.
They tend to hibernate in the winter months and are most active in the late spring and early fall.
When they are not out hunting for their next meal, they tend to be a creature that remains well hidden and secretive.
While most people will never encounter a rattlesnake, there are actually those go out of their way to meet up with these venomous snakes.
If you are ever in Texas in March be sure to swing over to Sweetwater where the annual Rattlesnake Roundup takes place.
This four-day event has brought in over 132 tons of rattlesnakes in its 48-year history.
You will find everything from live rattlesnake handling demonstrations to your favorite chili cooked up with rattlesnake meat.
If you do happen to have a chance encounter with a rattlesnake remember these important safety tips.
First, if you hear the rattle getaway!
This is an indicative signal that the snake is preparing to strike.
Second, if you are going to be in an area known for a large rattlesnake presence take care to wear heavy leather boots and heavy jeans that will help protect your legs from a strike.
Many hikers and campers carry a rattlesnake strike kit with them in case they might come upon one on the trails. If bitten it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible as the venom is extremely painful and fatal.
#14. Baby Copperhead Snake
A baby copperhead snake is most common to North America. They are also among the most likely to bite snake species.
They are poisonous but their bites have rarely been fatal.
The name comes from the copper color of their heads.
A baby copperhead snake is a pit viper, like water moccasins or rattlesnakes.
Baby Copperhead Video
A pit viper has heat-sensing pits between their eyes and their nostrils.
They use these pits to detect temperature variations so they can be more accurate when striking. They lash out at the heat, which is usually their potential prey.
Grown copperheads have thick, muscular bodies with ridged scales.
The head is large and triangular in shape. They have very distinct necks and large vertical pupils like a cat.
The young baby copperhead snake is a bit more grayish in color compared to the adults. They have yellow tails that are used as bait for their prey by flicking them back and forth.
The coloring will begin to fade as the young copperheads mature. Their habitat stretches as far to the South as Florida’s Panhandle, and as far North as the state of Massachusetts, and West as far as Nebraska.
They have 5 subspecies that are distributed around according to their geographic ranges. The Northern copperhead has the largest range by far, reaching from Alabama to Massachusetts and as far as Illinois.
More Baby Copperhead Snake Facts
Copperheads seem to be happy in a broad range of environments.
They thrive in wooded areas, thickets next to streams, mountains, canyons, and desert oasis type landscapes.
They tend to be drawn to abandoned farm buildings, old construction sites, junkyards, and sawdust piles. They are semi-social choosing to hunt alone.
However, when it comes time to hibernate they will share their communal dens with other copperheads and even other snake species like rattlesnakes and rat snakes.
They usually return to the same exact den every year. Many times they can be spotted just outside their dens, basking in the sun, eating, drinking, and courting.
They like being up and about during the day and love coming out on humid days after a rainy night.
They mostly stay on the ground, but will sometimes climb up into a low bush or tree to look for prey or soak in the sun.
They even take a little swim now and then.
A baby copperhead snake will grow up learning to eat mice and various other small rodents.
They play a crucial role in regulating the rodent population. They will also prey on small birds, smaller snakes, amphibians, lizards, and insects (cicadas).
They utilize those heat-sensing pits to help locate their prey. When they hunt larger prey, they will simply bite them and let them go. They let the venom do all the work.
Then they simply track their victims down. For smaller prey, they will often just hang on until it dies.
They can eat their prey whole by using the flexibility in their hinged jaws. A copperhead will average eating only about 10 to 12 meals every year, depending on the size of the kill.
Their mating season runs from February to May, then again from late August to October. The males fight each other for the females. The females like to fight as well, and will often reject a male that backs down from a fight with them.
A baby copperhead snake will give no warning before a strike. They strike almost immediately upon feeling threatened.
They have been credited with biting the most people in the U.S., but their venom is not all that potent. It is children and old people who have compromised immune systems that have the most to fear.
Snakes are a fascinating group of animals, and despite their fearsome reputation, should not be feared.
If you come across a snake in the wild, simply give it some space and leave it alone.
The snake will likely do the same and you can admire it from a safe distance before continuing with your day.
For the most part, you can sleep easy tonight.
With less than 10% of the snake population venomous, and most snakes preferring to not attack humans we are pretty safe.
Just remember that the old adage applies here, “If you leave it alone, it will usually leave you alone.”
Read more on Wikipedia here.
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