Snakes are fearsome creatures, capable of striking their victims with terrifying speed and delivering highly potent doses of venom. We’ve rounded up some of the most deadly venomous snakes known to man, based on a combination of their levels of toxicity and the number of fatalities they cause.
Beaked or hook-nosed sea snake
This aggressive reptile is considered to be one of the deadliest sea snakes in the world. Its venom is more toxic than a cobra’s or rattlesnakes, and it is responsible for the majority of deaths caused by sea snake bites.
Found around Asia and Australia, it was recently discovered that there are actually two distinct, but nearly identical-looking species living on separate continents.
Blue or common krait
Blue kraits are one of the most dangerous snakes in India, killing an estimated 10,000 people a year. Their toxic venom can often cause irreversible muscle paralysis that does not respond to antivenom.
Tiger snakes are native to southern Australia and Tasmania. They contain potent venom that can cause localized pain, numbness, sweating and eventually paralysis in their victims. If left untreated, bites often result in death.
Also known as the “fierce snake,” the Inland taipan holds the record for the most toxic venom of any snake in the world — it has the potential to kill 100 adult men with a single bite!
If left untreated, serious bites can kill a person in 30 to 45 minutes. But they aren’t the most dangerous snakes by far. Unlike the coastal taipan, inland taipans are fairly placid (unless provoked) and rarely encountered by humans in the remote desert environments.
Just 10 mg of a death adder’s venom is enough to kill a human being, which is scary when you consider that it often delivers 180mg in a single bite! Symptoms can include paralysis and even death, which can occur in 6 hours after a bite.
On top of that, death adders are the fasting striking snakes, capable of striking and envenoming their prey in less than 0.15 seconds.
Eastern brown snake
Native to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, these snakes are all the more dangerous because of the speed of their attacks. They usually try to avoid confrontation but will strike when necessary.
Their toxic venom can cause diarrhea, dizziness, paralysis and cardiac arrest, in some cases. The mortality rate from eastern brown snakes is not very high, though.
This small, but vicious snake is one of the most deadly snakes in the Middle East and Africa, where they are responsible for the vast majority of bites.
When agitated, they will rub their body against themselves to create a loud hissing sound. Saw-scaled viper bites are extremely painful and often causes bleeding and swelling, which can extend to entire limbs within a day.
Well known as one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, the black mamba is one of the most feared snakes in Africa. Though it’s not the most venomous snake on this list, it’s still capable of delivering a highly potent dose of venom which may cause paralysis and possibly death.
The black mambas sheer size and speed also make it quite terrifying. Lengths of more than 14 feet have been reported and they can travel at more than 6.8 miles per hour!
The coastal taipan is the largest venomous snake in Australia — the longest individual recorded was 9.5 feet, though average adults typically measure between 6 and 8 feet. Though they often try to avoid confrontation, these snakes can become highly aggressive and strike repeatedly as a defense mechanism.
A single bite contains enough venom to kill 12,000 guinea pigs! And when left untreated in humans, bites are often fatal and can kill a person in as little as 30 minutes.