Snakes are elongated reptiles without limbs. These serpents have overlapping scales. Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica, Ireland, Greenland, the islands of New Zealand etc. Additionally they are widespread throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They can be both venomous or non-venomous. Most species are non-venomous and those that have venom use it primarily to kill and subdue prey and as self-defense. Snake’s venom contains zootoxins, which are injected into the victim through fang bites or spitting. The gland which produces venom is situated on the either side of the snake’s head and are protected by a muscular sheath.
The protein present in snake’s venom constitute the largest portion and cause severe damage in prey by inhibiting important enzymes. The toxicity of their venom is calculated by its lethal dose.The most venomous snakes are of lowest values. Most of the world’s poisonous snakes are found in the coastal regions of Australia. Snakes are considered to have evolved from huge aquatic lizards. However, fossil records of snakes are not properly maintained as their skeletons are not very strong enough to survive for long . Let us discuss which are the most venomous snakes in the world
Most venomous Snakes in the World
Rattlesnakes are a part of Pit Viper family, only found in the United States of America. They can be easily recognized by the tell-tale rattle on the end of its tail. They can strike at up to 2/3rd of their body length. One of the most venomous snakes found in North America is Eastern Diamondback. An interesting fact about them is that the juveniles are more venomous than adults as they couldn’t control the amount of venom injected. A rattlesnake bite is very similar to a Brown Recluse Spider’s bite, one of the most venomous spiders in the world.
Most species of them have hematotoxins venom which destroy tissue, degenerate organs and disrupt blood clotting. Their venom is so dangerous that even after effective treatment it can lead to loss of a limb or even death. Some common symptoms are- paralysis, drooling,difficulty in breathing and severe hemorrhage.If rattlesnake bites are left untreated they are often very fatal. However, applying antivenin on time brings down the death rate to less than 4%.
The Vipers are found throughout the world but the most deadly ones are found in the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in India, China and South East Asia. Vipers are generally nocturnal and short tempered. They are very fast and are often active after rains.Due to their long pointed fangs they cause deep penetration in the victim’s body. Some common symptoms-pain at the bite location, extreme swelling, bleeding (especially from the gums), low blood pressure, decrease in heart beat, blisters at the bitten area, necrosis (cell injury which results in premature death of cells in the living tissues by autolysis).
In some rare cases vomiting and facial swelling also occur, discoloration of the affected area, death due to septicaemia, respiratory or cardiac failure may occur within 1 to 14 days or even later.These snakes have a specialty to control the amount of venom it would like to inject in the victim’s body.
3. Death Adder
The Death Adder is a venomous snake which is mostly found in Australia and New Guinea. They look identical to vipers as they have triangular shaped heads and short, heavy bodies. They have bands of different colors such as red, brown and black with grey bottom.These breed of snakes are very expert in camouflage due to its stripes.The venom of Death Adder contains neurotoxins therefore it is one of the most dangerous in the world. Some common symptoms are- Paralysis, respiratory failure and may cause death within 6 hours. However antivenin is very successful in treating such bites generally due to relatively slow progression of symptoms.
4. Philippine Cobra
The Philippine Cobra is also called Northern Philippine cobra. The venom of this cobra species is the most fatal among all the others and can spit its venom up to 3 meters. Its venom is highly neurotoxin. Some common symptoms are- respiratory paralysis which may cause death in thirty minutes, tissue damage, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and convulsions. The deadly toxin produces by these snakes may interrupt the transmission of nerve signals by binding to the neuro-muscular junctions close to the muscles.
5. Tiger Snake
The Tiger Snake is highly venomous snakes species mostly found in Australia including its coastal islands. Its venom is very fatal as it comprises blood coagulants, neurotoxins, myotoxins and haemolysins These species can be found in different patterns and colors. Some common symptoms- centralized pain in the foot and neck area, tingling, numbness, paralysis, sweating, difficulty in breathing. Before the development of antivenin, the fatality rate from this species was 60-70%. It becomes aggressive when encountered. And it strikes with 100% accuracy.
The Taipan are highly venomous snakes fast enough to kill around 12,000 guinea pigs native to Australia. The deadly venom blocks the arteries or veins by clotting the victim’s blood. The venom is very toxic as it contains high amount of neurotoxins which is enough to harm the victim in multiple ways. Before the discovery of its anti-venom, the mortality rate was very high. And still with advent of anti-venom most victims have to stay in intensive care unit. It is similar to the African Black Mamba in ecology, morphology and behavior. A noted difference is found that the species found in coastal areas are very aggressive as compared to those found in inland areas.
7. Blue Krait
The Blue Krait is also known as Malayan Krait.One of the most deadly species found in the South East Asia, Bali in Indonesia and south to Java.These snakes have dark brown or bluish-black bands across its body and on the tail. Its venom is highly neurotoxic and the mortality rate is around 50%. As its venom is 16 times more fatal than cobra, it causes immediate death of the victim. These species are nocturnal and very aggressive, generally in the darkness. Some common symptoms- paralysis, cramps, tremors, spasms, permanent coma, and may cause death within 6-12 hours. Before the advent of anti-venom, the mortality rate was around 85%. But still the victim may die due to hypoxia (brain death).
8. Black Mamba
The black mamba is a species of venomous snake found in most parts of the African continent. They are very aggressive and strike with high accuracy. It is one of the fastest land snakes in the world with speed around 20km/hr. They can strike up to around 12 times in a row. A single bite can kill around 10-25 adults. The venom of this species is highly neurotoxin. On an average its bite secretes around 100-120mg of venom. Some common symptoms-in the beginning it causes pain, tingling sensation, double vision, tunnel vision, severe confusion, fever, excessive salivation, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, shock, pallor, nephrotoxicity, cardio toxicity, paralysis, convulsions, respiratory arrest, coma and then death. Before anti-venom discovery the fatality rate was nearly 100%. According to the condition, death may result within 15 minutes to 3 hours.
9. Eastern Brown Snake
The Eastern Brown Snake is one of the deadliest snakes found in the densely populated areas of Australia. These snakes can be of different shades such as brown, black or grey. These are very quick in their movements. As compared to the adults the juveniles are more prone to cause harm. There venom consists of neurotoxin as well as blood coagulant which is enough to kill the victim in a single strike. These species of snakes are very aggressive if encountered by humans. But the person should stand still and try not to move if ever encountered by one.These snakes are moat commonly found in the farmlands and in other agricultural areas as they can easily find their preys.
The Jararaca is one of the most venomous snakes found in the heavily populated location of South Eastern Brazil. Generally they dwell in tropical and dense evergreen forests. Some common symptoms are- swelling, continuous bleeding, in severe cases, hypertension, death due to shock. It is an important cause of snake bite in the areas of South America and Northern Argentina. No subspecies of this breed is till recognized.
11. Western Green Mamba
The Western Green Mambas are very aggressive and extremely quick. These breeds are mostly found in tropical rain forests generally in coastal regions and in the areas of western Africa. These species generally feed on small rodents and mammals. These are similar to other species of mambas but have an extremely painful bite. The deadly venom can kill many humans in a single strike as it contains cardiotoxins and neurotoxins, so immediate treatment is a must. However encounter with humans is rarely seen.
12. Eastern Green Mamba
The Eastern Green Mamba is endemic to South Eastern Africa.These breed are very shy and so rarely seen. They generally feed on bats, bird’s eggs, rodents etc. These breed are generally active during the day and sleeps at night. These species of mamba is highly venomous as the venom damages the nervous system of the victim. Even a single strike of this particular species is enough to kill hundreds of humans. Some common symptoms- nausea, convulsions, dizziness, respiratory disorder, cardiac arrest and may even lead to death.
13. Fierce Snake
The Fierce Snake is also known as Inland Taipan. One of the most venomous snakes found in the most parts of semi-arid regions of Central East Australia. In one strike it produces around 110mg of venom which is enough to kill 100 humans or 2,50,000 mice. This particular breed of snake is around 10 times as dangerous as Rattlesnake and around 50 times more powerful than the venom of common cobra. But on a good note these species are not very aggressive and stay away from human, in the wild. So these are rarely spotted. Hence very fewer fatalities are recorded. However if ever encountered, It can kill a human in 45 minutes.
14. Many-Banded Krait
The Many-Banded Krait species is one of the most venomous snakes throughout Asia. These species as long slender and compressed. The scales covered on its body is glossy and smooth. The shades of this species is generally creamy white cross bands with black body. The fangs of this species are small and are located in the anterior of the upper jaw. These snakes feed on frogs, lizards and small rodents. Its venom can even kill around 24 humans. The Many-Banded Krait is very swift and agile.
15. Bothrops Asper
The Bothrops Asper is an aggressive and a dangerous breed of snakes. It is a nocturnal species, most of the time they are found near human habitat.These species generally feed on birds. These species are endemic to Costa Rica, Central and South America. Most of these species are primarily prey on birds. In Costa Rica 50% of deaths are caused due to Bothrops Asper’s bite.Some common symptoms are – necrosis, kidney failure, blood loss and intracranial hemorrhage. The bite is very irritating and hence the cure is to stay away from such species.
16. Russell’s viper
One of the most venomous snakes all the Asia is Russell’s viper. They are natives of India, Southern China and Taiwan. These species are mostly found in densely populated areas. These venomous snakes are very aggressive. They primarily prey on small rodents. These are nocturnal but it alters its behavior and becomes more active during the day. Some common symptoms are – swelling, vomiting, nausea and kidney failure. Apart from being one of the most deadly snakes, these are also one of the biggest breed to cause thousands of deaths annually.
17. Coastal Taipan
The Coastal Taipan is one of the most deadly snakes found in Australia. These species are very nervous and quick if experience any movement around them. Like any other snakes these breed of snakes tend to quickly slip away if they feel any danger. The venom of these snakes is very fatal and can kill numbers of humans in few minutes. If the bite is left unattended it may cause 100% mortality rate.
18. Eyelash Viper
The Eyelash Vipers are highly venomous snakes native to Central and South America. These have scales above their eyes which are nothing but modified eyelashes. These breed are largely nocturnal and very aggressive. These snakes wait for their prey patiently and often wander in search of prey. They primarily feed on small birds, lizards, rodents, frogs etc.These species are not very aggressive but will not hesitate if they feel any danger around them.
19. Forest Cobra
The Forest Cobra is very agile and alert species of snakes. These are endemic to Africa mostly dwell in the central and western parts of the continent. They feed upon small reptiles, insects and mammals. These species have glossy scales all over its bosy. When Forest Cobra encounter any danger, it raises its front of its body off the ground, spreads its hood and hisses loudly. Some common symptoms are- dizziness, hypotensions, fever, neurological and respiratory failure. The bites of such species are less common but still are very dangerous.
The Boomslang is one of the largest and venomous snakes found in Africa. These have inefficient fangs and so harmless to humans. But the venom of Boomslang is very deadly and can cause bleeding to the victim. The venom of this species disrupts the clotting of your blood and ultimately could even kill the victim. Some common symptoms- nausea, headache and sleepiness. But they only attack humans when they feel they are in danger.
21. Coral Snake
The Coral Snakes are the species of snakes which are native of North America. These are also found in other continents but in different patterns. At first the bite of Coral Snake cause no harm but if left untreated it can turn into serious disorder. Some common symptoms are – Paralysis, Double vision and cardiac arrest. These snakes are not very aggressive but if could attack humans if they feel any danger.
22. Western Brown Snake
The Western Brown Snakes are also known as Gwardar. It is very agile and deadly venomous. These are endemic to Australia. Its color and patterns varies according to the location they are found at. The venom of such snakes is highly dangerous and can cause death of the victim.
23. Belcher’s Sea Snake
The Belcher’s Sea Snake are also known as the Faint-banded Sea snake. These species have a very timid character and mostly found in wild. But the venom of this breed is highly lethal. You can understand its toxicity by the fact that only a few milligrams of its venom are enough to kill thousands of humans. Its venom is very potent but it rarely encounters humans.
24. Peron’s Sea Snake
The Peron’s Sea Snake are highly venomous species is endemic to the Western Pacific Ocean. These are also known as Horned Sea Snake. It is the only snake with spines on its head. And also a snout-vent length 39 inches. It prefers to dwell in seas with sandy beds and coral reefs. They love to feed on small fish. These are venomous snakes.
25. Saw Scaled Viper
The Saw Scaled Vipers are very agile, swift and aggressive creatures mostly endemic to Africa, Arabia and Southwest Asia. These snakes have very deadly venom and hence the mortality rate is vey high. It is interesting to know that its lethal venom causes the highest numbers of deaths as compared to any other snakes in the world.
26. Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake
The Yellow Bellied Sea Snake is a venomous species, found in the open ocean well away from coasts and reefs. They are native of Pacific and Indian Oceans. They spend most of their life in marine surroundings. The venom is very deadly and can cause damage of victim’s skeletal muscle. Anti-venom is developed which cure the victim in case of bites. They feed on small fish by swallowing them.
27. Dubois’s Sea Snake
The Dubois’s Sea Snake are natives of the coastal areas of the Corals, Timor and Arafura Seas and the Indian Ocean. The venom of this deadly snake is very fatal. It feeds on moray eels and other small fish. These are considered as the world’s second most dangerous sea snake. These species are viviparous , that is they give birth to young ones instead of laying eggs. These are aggressive and generally bite when provoked.
Snakes are dangerous reptiles that are better viewed in a zoo. If you are an adventurer, who loves camping and exploring in the wild, you need to know about these most venemous snakes in the world.