Most Venomous Snakes In The World: List Of The Top Ten

There are 3000 known species of snakes, and around 600 of these are venomous.

Of the 600 species of venomous snakes, only a few dozen are considered to be a significant threat to human health.

Here is a list of the top 10 most venomous snakes;

#10 Black Mamba

Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) – This venomous snake can grow up to 15ft in length and is found in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and is both terrestrial and arboreal, meaning they live on the ground and in trees.

It is one of the fastest snakes in the world, with a top speed of around 12 mph. The venom of the black mamba is highly neurotoxic and can cause death within 20 minutes to an hour if left untreated.

The threat displays when confronted consists of gaping to expose its black mouth and flicking its tongue. It also is likely to hiss and spread its neck wide.

Venom Fact: Neurotoxin venom affects the nervous system – Preventing Neurons in the brain from transmitting signals around the body, leading to paralysis.

#9 Fer-De-Lance

The Fer-De-Lance (Bothrops asper) is known in Spanish as Barba Amarilla translating to “Yellow Chin”. These vipers reside in Central and South America, they can grow to lengths of up to 8.2ft.

The venom from one of these vipers turns body tissue black as it begins to die and has anti-coagulation properties preventing the clotting of blood, meaning a human can hemorrhage from one of these snake bites.

#8 Boomslang

Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) – This venomous snake is one of the most deadly rear-fanged snakes in the world. Growing up to a length of 6 ft.

Herpetologist Karl Patterson died when conducting a study in 1957 when mistakenly thinking rear-fanged snake venom was not toxic enough to kill a human.

The Boomslang is found in many locations across Africa, such as; Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique. They’re arboreal reptiles spending most of their time in trees, hunting, basking, and brumating in bird nests throughout the winter months.

#7 Eastern Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) – This venomous snake is found in southern regions of Australia. They’re not one of the largest snakes, reaching a length of up to 4ft, however, it’s responsible for a number of snakebite deaths in the country, averaging one death a year. 

Tiger Snake venom contains neurotoxins, myotoxins, and coagulants, which can cause paralysis, muscle damage, and internal bleeding.

Although they’re typically terrestrial snakes, they do possess the ability to climb trees and swim for extended periods in water.

Venom Fact: Myotoxin venom affects the muscular system – Causing muscle tissue to die and preventing muscle contraction.

#6 Russell’s Viper

The Russell Viper (Daboia russelii) – This venomous snake can be located in Northern India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Thailand. 

This snake is responsible for 43% of known snake bites in India, and there are over 58,000 deaths a year from envenoming which the Russell Viper is responsible for 80%.

#5 Saw-Scaled Viper

Saw-scaled Viper (Echis carinatus) – This venomous snake is found in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Its venom contains a combination of neurotoxins, cytotoxins, and hemotoxins, which can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding.

These snakes’ scales are different from most because they have serrated edges which they’ll rub together when threatened to create a sizzling sound to warn off other animals or humans.

When bitten, anti-venom needs to be administered within hours to ensure survival, these snakes have caused such medical problems doctors have created nine different anti-venoms.

Venom Fact: Hemotoxin Venoms affect the circulatory system – Bursting red blood cells and causing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.

#4 Banded Krait

Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) – Is found on the Indian Subcontinent, in Southeast Asia, And in Southern China. It is the largest species of Krait in the world, growing to lengths of up to 9ft. 

Banded Kraits are primarily nocturnal snakes, spending most of their time hiding away. They’re not particularly aggressive snakes during the day, however, during the night is when they’re most active and will attack when provoked. 

Fun Fact: The term for a fear of snakes is called “Ophidiophobia”.

#3 King Cobra

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) – This is the longest venomous snake in the world reaching a length of up to 13.1ft, and is found in the forests of Southeast Asia and India. 

Its venom contains a combination of neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, which can cause paralysis, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest. A bite from one of these snakes is capable of killing a human within 15 minutes and a fully grown elephant within a few hours. 

#2 Coastal Taipan

Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) – This is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, found in coastal regions of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The Coastal Taipan’s venom is a potent mixture of neurotoxins and myotoxins, which can cause rapid paralysis and tissue damage in its victims. A single bite from this snake can be fatal to a human within a matter of hours, making it a significant threat to anyone who encounters it.

In the wild, the Coastal Taipan is an apex predator, preying on a variety of small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Its excellent eyesight and sense of smell make it a formidable hunter, and it is known to be particularly active during the warmer months.

#1 Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) – This is the most venomous snake in the world, found in the semi-arid regions of central Australia. 

The Inland Taipan’s venom is incredibly potent, with a single bite containing enough toxins to kill over 100 adult humans. Its venom is a complex mixture of neurotoxins, myotoxins, and coagulants, which can cause rapid paralysis and bleeding disorders in its victims.

Despite its deadly reputation, the Inland Taipan is not aggressive towards humans and will typically only attack if it feels threatened. However, due to the potency of its venom, it is essential to exercise extreme caution when encountering this snake in the wild.

Fortunately, due to its reclusive nature and remote habitat, encounters with the Inland Taipan are relatively rare.

How Do Snakes Make Their Venom?

Snake venom is made in the salivary glands, and made of complex compounds of enzymes, proteins, amines, lipids, nucleosides, and carbohydrates.

Salivary Gland

How Do Snakes Inject Their Venom

The snake venom gland is an epithelial organ with a clear function of forcing the premade snake venom into the victim and through their hollow fangs.

Venom Gland

Venom Process

Summary

Although these snakes rank differently, they’re all extremely dangerous in their own way, and if encountered whether, in the wild or captivity, you’ll need to remain alert and stay a safe distance from these reptiles.