Snakes have had a bad reputation in history. Since the story of Adam and Eve and throughout many other cultures, snakes have been seen as sneaky and dangerous. While a majority of snakes are relatively harmless, there are some seriously scary snakes that explain why humans have given them a bad reputation.
Some of these snakes are so venomous that their bite will kill you within 30 minutes, while one can accurately spit its venom into your eye from 23 feet away.
Boomslangs Are Beautiful, But Deadly
The Boomslang snake is one of the most beautiful snakes… and one of the deadliest. The emerald green snake is found in sub-Saharan Africa and has a tricky type of bite. The snake can open its jaws 180 degrees to inject you using fangs that are at the back of its jaw.
The venom doesn’t start to take effect until hours later, so many victims don’t think they’ve been harmed. Thanks to the delayed symptoms, victims won’t seek treatment and by the time they do, it’s too late.
The Coastal Taipan Will Kill You Within A Half Hour
The Coastal Taipan is a species of snake native to Australia and New Guinea. It’s the third-most venomous land snake and the longest one in Australia. The Coastal Taipan can grow up to 6.6 feet long and can way up to 15 pounds. The largest one ever found was 11 feet long!
While the body might be intimidating it’s the coastal taipan’s bite that you should worry about. The toxin is so potent that it can kill you within half an hour.
The Blue Malayan Coral Snake Is Known As The Killer’s Killer
The Blue Malayan Coral Snake is one of the most beautiful snakes in the world… as well as the deadliest. That’s because the snake’s venom is powerful enough to make a victim’s nerves fire off all at once. That means after a bite the victim experiences body spasms and paralysis that lead to a shockingly quick death.
The Blue Malayan Coral Snake is so deadly that it’s considered a “killer’s killer” because they prey on other venomous snakes.
Ring-Necked Snakes Only Look Dangerous
Usually, when animals come in colors as vibrant and bright as ring-necked snakes, it means they are incredibly dangerous. In this case, the color is a lie. Ring-necked snakes are venomous, but are also considered harmless to humans.
The reason they make this list is because of how they kill their prey. Once their food is targeted, they strike, wrapping themselves around the animal. Then, as they constrict their food, they bite them, injecting venom into them.
Anacondas Take No Prisoners
The anaconda is one of the largest snakes in the world and uses every foot of its body to crush its prey. The good news about anacondas is that they aren’t very aggressive.
The bad news is that if they’re hungry, they are one of the most unstoppable predators in the world. The largest recorded anaconda on record was 28 feet long, so you can imagine the size prey that can take down for a quick meal.
The Philippine Cobra Bites And Spits
If you thought you could avoid venomous snakes by simply keeping your distance, the Philippine Cobra is here to prove you wrong. That’s because it is a spitting cobra that can accurately shoot its toxic venom up to ten feet away. If the venom comes in contact with any body fluids or blood, it can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.
The Philippine Cobra makes its home in ponds, forests, fields, and farms, and will lurk silently until it’s too late.
A King Cobra’s Bite Can Kill An Elephant
The King Cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. An adult King Cobra can grow anywhere from 10-13 feet long and the longest in history was 19 feet. Its bite is fatal to humans if untreated, and its size means that it carries large doses of venom. In fact, the amount of venom in a King Cobra’s bite is enough to kill an elephant.
Don’t be too scared though, King Cobras prefer to eat other snakes.
The Black Mamba Is The Deadliest On Earth
The Black Mamba is the deadliest snake on earth thanks to its highly toxic venom and the amount of venom it carries. A single black mamba has enough venom in it to kill ten people. The black mamba also always bites multiple times, so it injects higher doses of venom than other snakes.
The Black Mamba is so dangerous that its name has even taken on its own dangerous subculture. It was featured in the Kill Bill movies and, of course, is the nickname of Kobe Bryant.
A Common Lancehead Actually Isn’t That Aggressive, But It’s Still Deadly
While some of the most venomous snakes aren’t actually that aggressive, the common lancehead is one of the more aggressive pit vipers in the world. Also known as the Bothrops atrox or yellow beard snake, the Common Lancehead is found in South America and the Caribbean.
The snake is particularly dangerous because it hunts for rodents on coffee and banana plantations. The snake will lie there camouflaged for hours and then bite workers before they even notice they’re hiding nearby.
An Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Will Only Attacked When Threatened
It might not be the longest, but the most venomous snake in North America is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. It can be found in Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The venom is injected through what feels like “two hot hypodermic needles.” If you get bit you can expect to experience bleeding, a ton of pain, and possibly death.
Luckily, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake isn’t aggressive. It will only attack if it is cornered or feels threatened, so if you see the distinctive grey, black, and tan snake, just walk away.
The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Is Deadlier Than Its Cousin
The Western counterpart of the Diamondback Rattlesnake is one of the most famous in North America. It’s a common sight in the American Southwest and even found its way onto the logo of Arizona’s MLB team. The Western version is smaller and more tan-colored than the Eastern snake.
The difference in deadliness is that the Western Diamondback has oversized venom glands so it can inject a larger, deadlier dose in a single bite. Luckily, the Western Diamondback is also non-aggressive.
Indian Cobras Are Deadly But Still Trained By Snake Charmers
This snake is one of the most commonly known species of cobra. The Indian Cobra is the same snake that you read about in many myths and legends in the Hindu religion. It’s also the snake that many snake charmers will “entrance” with music.
Even though it’s commonly found throughout history, the Indian Cobra is still very deadly. The venom of the Indian cobra can paralyze a full-grown man and even trigger a heart attack within 15 minutes.
Saw-Scaled Vipers Make A Scary Sound
The Saw-Scaled Viper has one of the most intimidating names. It’s called Saw-Scaled because it will rub sections of its body together and the scales produce a “sizzling” sound to warn off predators.
It might have a defense mechanism against predators, but the Saw-Scaled Viper is normally the more dangerous one. Its venom is highly potent and can cause strokes. The majority of Saw-Scaled Viper attacks only happen after dark though, when they are hunting.
Sea Snakes Can Sneak Up On You In The Water
The only thing scarier than a venomous land snake is a Sea Snake that can sneak up on you while you’re swimming. Sea Snakes are found along the coasts of Southeast Asia and throughout the Pacific Ocean. They are completely aquatic and their tails look like a paddle to move them along.
Sea Snakes are actually more venomous than some of their land cousins, but luckily, snakebites from them aren’t very common and they’re generally mild-tempered.
Russell’s Vipers Will Travel Into Cities To Kill
This type of viper is also found in India and Southeast Asia, but it’s particularly threatening to humans because it can be found in urban areas. Russell’s Vipers will leave their natural habitat of grassy and bushy areas and enter cities to prey on small mammals. While Russell’s Vipers will decrease the rat population of a city, they will also strike against humans that they feels threatened by.
Russell’s Vipers can grow up to six feet long and have aggressive attitudes, so they’re considered one of the deadliest snakes in India.
Black-Necked Spitting Cobras Have A Deadly Range
This deadly snake makes its home in sub-Saharan Africa and can grow to a terrifying 2.2 meters long. If you can’t tell from its intimidating name, the weapon of choice for this snake is spitting its venom at victims. The Black-necked Spitting Cobra can accurately hit a target from 23 feet away.
Luckily, the venom is actually pretty harmless if it just touches your skin. The problem is, this snake aims for your eye. If it hits perfectly, the venom can cause permanent blindness.
Monocled Cobras Lurk In Swamps And Wetlands
The Monocled Cobra is one of the most beautiful snakes in the world, but you don’t want to get close enough to see its speckled pattern. It has a striking eye-shaped pattern on its hood and can be brown, orange, or white.
Located in South and Southeast Asia, the Monocled Cobra lurks in wetlands and swamps to wait for its prey. The bite of the Monocled Cobra is particularly venomous and can kill a human within an hour.
Eastern Brown Snakes Are One Of Australia’s Scariest Animals
It might have a relatively boring name but the Eastern Brown Snake is the second-most venomous in the world. It is located in Australia and can be found in rural areas that are common hiking sites. If the Eastern brown snake bites you, the venom will quickly coagulate your blood and stop it from flowing.
The Eastern Brown Snake only resides in half of Australia but it’s responsible for a whopping 60% of snake bite deaths on the continent.
Puff Adders Are Responsible For The Most Snakebites In Africa
The Puff Adder can be found throughout the savannah and grasslands of Morocco, western Arabia, and southern Africa. While the Black Mamba is the deadliest snake in Africa, the Puff Adder is responsible for the most fatal snakebites on the continent.
That’s because the Puff Adder has such a wide distribution, it doesn’t shy away from populated areas, and is aggressive in nature. Luckily, proper treatment can stop the effects of the Puff Adder venom, so if you’re bit, don’t wait to get help.
Inland Taipans Are Just As Dangerous As Coastal Taipans
Do you remember how intimidating the Coastal Taipan is? Well, the Inland Taipan isn’t much nicer. The Inland Taipan is a smaller snake that is located in Australia and has the most toxic venom in the world.
Each bite from the Inland Taipan delivers a deadly mixture of neurotoxins, mycotoxins, and hemotoxins. That means it will begin to attack your nervous system, muscles, and blood simultaneously. The Coastal Taipan might be small but it holds enough venom to kill up to 100 people, so watch out.
The Chinese Cobra Is Deadly But Also Endangered
The Chinese Cobra is a medium-sized snake that is best known for its unique hood marking. The Chinese Cobra has a light, horseshoe-shaped line across its hood the contrasts with its black scales. It is highly venomous and when bit, symptoms from the venom can last for years in humans.
The Chinese Cobra is found in Southern China and Taiwan. It might be one of the most venomous snakes in the region, but it’s considered a threatened species that require conservation.
Egyptian Cobras Have A Long History In Mythology
Not only is the Egyptian Cobra one of the deadliest snakes but it’s also the most feared in Egyptian tradition. The Egyptian Cobra is the same snake that was featured on King Tutankhamen’s gold burial mask and is a large part of their mythology.
In modern-day Egypt, most people have a healthy respect for the Egyptian Cobra and leave it alone. It’s also smart to keep your distance because the Egyptian Cobra has especially large fangs that can inject larger doses of venom.
Beware The Many-Banded Krait
The Many-Banded Krait, also referred to as a Chinese Krait or Taiwanese Krait, has a distinctive black and white striped skin. It can grow anywhere from 4 1/2 to 6 feet in length.
Kraits are native to Asia and dwell in marshy areas but are sometimes found in suburbs or even cities. They feed on fish, other snakes, frogs, eels, and rodents. This is one of the most venomous land snakes in the world.
The Eyelash Viper Isn’t Flirting With You
Located throughout Central and South America, the Eyelash Viper is technically known by the name Bothriechis schlegelii. They’re distinctive because of their bright coloring (they can be a variety of hues) and by their unique eyelids which make them look like they have eyelashes.
These venomous snakes are frequently kept in zoos because of their beautiful color variation. They feed on small rodents as well as small birds, lizards, and frogs.
Jararacas Usually Stay In The Shade
Native to South America, the Jararaca is a venomous pit viper that frequently bites humans. Located primarily in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, and northeastern Paraguay, the Jararaca’s name is a combination of two Portuguese words which together mean “large snake.”
They’re usually located hiding out under vegetation, even in open savanna regions. They can reach a maximum length of roughly 63 inches, but their average length is typically around 23 inches. The Jaracara’s venom is used to make drugs that treat congestive heart failure and hypertension.
One Western Green Mamba Can Kill Several Humans
Green Mambas, found throughout rainforests and wooded areas in West Africa, are active during the day. They spend the majority of their time in trees and live on a diet consisting mainly of bats, birds, lizards, and various small rodents.
One of the fastest snakes on the planet, a Green Mamba behaves differently than other varieties in that it strikes its prey and then backs off. After the prey has died, the snake returns and swallows it.
Bothrops Aspers Are Called ‘The Ultimate Pit Vipers’
Bothrops Aspers, sometimes referred to as “the ultimate pit vipers,” have distinctively broad and flat heads. They’re found primarily in South America but also dwell as far north as Mexico and in some lowland Atlantic coastal areas such as Costa Rica and Panama.
These snakes use caudal luring, a technique where they lure prey with their differently-colored tail tips. Their venom is extremely toxic and Bothrops Aspers feed on a variety of prey, from tiny lizards up to opossums.
Forest Cobras Are Related To The Indian Variety
Although the Forest Cobra is not as dangerous as its Indian counterpart, a bite from one will still send a human to the emergency room with life-threatening levels of venom. This is one of the largest cobra species and can grow to a total length of up to 10 feet.
They prefer African savanna and forest habitats but can live in a variety of environments and can even swim! When cornered, a forest cobra will hiss and spread its hood, just like Indian cobras.
Dubois’ Sea Snakes Live In Reefs
Dubois’ Sea Snake, also known as a Reef Shallows Sea Snake, is another deadly serpent that dwells in the sea. Out of all the snakes on earth, this is one you definitely want to avoid — it’s in the top three most venomous snakes in the world! Despite their venom’s potency, a Dubois’ Sea Snake doesn’t deliver a ton of it when biting,
They live underwater in reefs, at depths up to nearly 300 feet, and feed on eels and other types of seafloor fish.
Western Browns Are Really Fast
Don’t let the plain Jane name “Western Brown” fool you. These Australian natives are super speedy and highly venomous. Their other name is “Gwardar” which is an Aboriginal word meaning “go the long way around” — sounds like a serious warning to avoid these guys!
The Western Brown snake can grow to about six feet long and is found throughout Australia. They eat small mammals such as mice, as well as lizards.
The Tiger Snake Is Another Australian Native
The Australian Tiger Snake is known for its aggressive nature and toxic venom, but in reality, are rarely encountered by humans. They’re recognized by their yellow and black cross-bands but are also seen in other colors including brown, black, and white.
Tiger Snakes live in Tasmania, a highly inhospitable territory, and are considered great adaptors for their ability to survive in such a harsh terrain. Prey size helps to dictate how large these snakes grow as adults.
The Death Adder’s Name Says It All
The Death Adder got its fearful name because it’s one of the most venomous land snakes worldwide. It has a wide triangular head and a thick banded body. Death Adders can reach lengths of around two to three feet.
These snakes live in Australia’s forests, grasslands, woodlands, although their habitat is shrinking. They’re also threatened by the rapid spread of invasive Cane toads, which feed on juvenile death adders. Additionally, adult death adders attempt to eat the Cane toads, which are poisonous and kill the snakes.
The Blue-Bellied Black Snake Is The Most Toxic Of The Pseudechis Genus
Not to be confused with the Red-Bellied Black snake, the Blue-Bellied variety is quite aggressive and exerts distinctive behaviors before it attacks. When it feels threatened, this snake holds its body in an S-shape and hisses loudly.
After biting its prey, the Blue-Bellied snake will hold on and continue to chew. Its venom contains coagulants, hemolysins, neurotoxins, and cytotoxins. These deadly snakes are found in Australia, in southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales.
The Mulga Is The Second-Longest Venomous Snake In Australia
The Mulga, or King Brown snake, is another deadly entry from Australia. This species typically grows from 6.6 to 8.2 feet long, with weights of 6.6 to 13.2 pounds. Some specimens can grow to 12 feet long!
Their venom acts on victims’ striated muscle and causes paralysis. The most recent death from a king brown snake bite was recorded in 1969. The antivenom for a Mulga bite comes from Black snakes.
The Largest Viper In Africa Is The Gaboon Viper
Gaboon Vipers, the largest vipers in Africa, can grow to weigh more than 45 pounds and extend to lengths of more than 6 feet. Some specimens have been found with heads measuring six inches across.
They’re excellent at camouflaging themselves since their coloring resembles leaves. This is how they catch their meals of small and medium-sized mammals and birds, by waiting in hiding until an unsuspecting victim happens along. Most human bites occur when a person doesn’t see the snake and accidentally steps on it.
Vemon From A Belcher’s Sea Snake Is Incredibly Potent
Also called a faint-banded sea snake, Belcher’s Sea Snakes have venom that’s extremely lethal. Humans who are bitten by this species will lose feeling in their lower extremities, stomachs, and lungs, until suffocation occurs. They are sometimes called the most venomous snakes in the world, which is not true.
Luckily, these snakes are relatively timid and must be severely provoked before they attack. Belcher’s Sea Snakes live in parts of Asia and Australia.
Small-Eyed Snakes Give Birth To Live Young
The Small-Eyed snake is yet another dangerous entry from Australia. They live in rainforests as well as eucalyptus forests, and like most snakes are active at night. During the day they can be found hiding under rocks, vegetation, and tree bark.
They pack a lethal punch with their myotoxic venom, but are only known to have killed one human. The Small-Eyed snake feeds on other (smaller) snakes, lizards and their eggs, and frogs. Unlike most snakes, they give birth to live young.
Beware The Australian Copperhead
The Australian Copperhead is not closely related to the American version. From the Elapidae family, the Australian Copperhead can range in color from a deep copper to brown to a yellow or reddish color.
Its neurotoxic venom can easily kill a human if first aid isn’t given in time. One fatality and a dozen Copperhead bites have been recorded in Australia. These snakes typically eat other snakes, frogs, and lizards.
Collette’s Snakes Are The World’s Nineteenth Most Venomous
Collett’s snake received its name from a Norwegian zoologist named Robert Collet, who found a young one and noticed that it was a different variety than previously identified. This Australian species is also called Collett’s Cobra, Down’s Tiger snake, or Collett’s Black snake.
Even though these snakes are highly venomous and have been known to injure many people, they’re popular as house pets. People who are bitten by Collette’s snakes experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and severe headaches. If left untreated, the victim will go into acute renal failure.
The Beaked Sea Snake Causes More Than Half Of All Sea Snake Bites
Also known as the Hook-Nosed Sea Snake, Common Sea Snake, or the Valakadyn Sea Snake, this species is native to the Indo-Pacific region. This is a snake to avoid at all costs; it is responsible for more than half of sea snake bites to humans, including the majority of fatal bites.
Active during the daytime as well as nighttime, the Beaked Sea Snake can stay underwater for five hours and is able to dive 100 meters deep.
Caspian Cobras Are Highly Aggressive
The central Asian species known primarily as the Caspian Cobra is also known as the Central Asian Cobra, Russian Cobra, Ladle Snake, or Oxus Cobra. This is a relatively short species, averaging around three and a half feet in length. They live in arid to semiarid environments.
Caspian Cobras tend to avoid humans, but when threatened by one are extremely aggressive — even the juveniles. They feed on toads, frogs, rodents, birds and eggs, and the occasional fish.
The Rhabdophis Is Poisonous, Not Venomous
There’s a difference between poisonous and venomous snakes. Venomous snakes bite in order to release their toxins into prey. But poisonous snakes release their toxins when they are ingested by another creature. There aren’t many species of snakes that are poisonous.
Rhabdophis, or Keelback snakes, have special glands in their necks that collect poison from animals they eat, such as toads. If an animal attempts to bite one, the snake will release this poison directly into the predator’s mouth.