Science

Top 10 Most Venomous Snakes in the World

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Snakes are found in almost every part of the world. There are more than 20 snake families that have been recognized which comprise about 520 genera and about 3600 species all around the world. Out of these only 600 are venomous snakes.

Snakes are among the most feared animals on the planet. Here is a list of top ten most venomous snakes in the world!

10. Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake one of the most venomous snake in the world
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The Rattlesnake can easily be identified if you hear the rattling sound of their tail. When threatened, rattlesnake coils and shakes its tail and makes a rattling sound to warn the intruders to stay away. Rattlesnakes raise their tails when rattling.

It is the only snake from America which makes to the list of most venomous snakes in the world.

A Rattlesnake can strike at up to two thirds of their body length. Size of rattlesnake depends on the species. Largest species can reach length of 8 feet.

On average, rattlesnakes are 3 to 4 feet long. Rattlesnakes belong to Pit Viper Family.

Juveniles are considered more dangerous and aggressive than adults, due to their inability to control the amount of venom to be injected.

The Eastern Diamondback in considered the most venomous species in North America.

Most of the rattlesnakes produce very strong hemotoxic venom which destroys blood cells and vessels, destroys tissues, degenerate organs and disrupt blood’s ability to coagulate.

Difficulty breathing, paralysis, drooling and massive haemorrhaging are also common symptoms. Its bite can also lead to the loss of a limb or death.

Untreated rattlesnake bites are very often fatal. However, antivenin, when applied in time reduces the death rate by less than 4%

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9. Death Adder

Death adder
Image By CSIRO

Death Adder is a highly venomous snake and is found in Australia and New Guinea, including offshore islands. Death Adder is one of the most venomous snakes in the world and also has the fastest strike rate among other snakes.

The death adders have a very similar appearance to vipers or pit vipers. They have a short and robust body, narrow neck, triangular shaped head and a tail spine. They also possess the longest fangs of any Australian snake.

Death adders are mainly nocturnal. Unlike other snakes they don’t actively hunt. The death adder buries itself in soil, leafs or sand, leaving only the head and tail exposed, but still very well camouflaged and use the end of their tail for caudal luring to attract the prey. They wait for several days for the victim to pass by. 

Death Adders are biggest threat to humans because of their ambush hunting tactics and camouflage. It can go from a neutral position to a strike and back in just 0.13 seconds.

Their venom is neurotoxin. The death adder bite causes paralysis and can cause death  of the victim within 6 hours, due to respiratory failure. Symptoms generally peak within 24-48 hours. Each bite of death adder inject around 40-100mg of venom with an LD of 0.4mg-0.5mg/kg.

Untreated human cases of a death adder bite have a 50% fatality rate. But antivenin is extremely successful in treating these deadly bites because of relatively slow progression of the symptoms

Read More: Top 10 Amazing Facts About Snakes

8. Vipers

Vipers one of the most deadly and venomous snakes
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Vipers are a large family of snakes which are found throughout the world. Their scientific name is Viperidae. Vipers are primarily found in Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in India, China and South East Asia.

Vipers do not exist in Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, north of the Arctic Circle and island clusters such as Hawaii. 

Vipers are nocturnal and very agile snakes, they become often active after rains.

All vipers are venomous and have long, hinged fangs and range widely in size, though are generally stocky with short tails.

Vipers have enzymatic venom that starts with acute pain and affects tissues; followed by swelling of the affected area. Bleeding is a common symptom, especially from the gums. Blood pressure and heart rate fall considerably and blistering occurs at the site of the bite. Vomiting and facial swelling occurs in most of the cases. Acute pain may last for many weeks. Discoloration may also occur throughout the swollen area.

If proper medical attention and antivenin is not given death may occur from septicaemia, respiratory or cardiac failure.  

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7. Philippine Cobra

Philippine cobra
Image : Pinterest

The Philippine cobra is considered one of the world’s deadliest and most venomous snakes. Their venom is the most deadly of all the Cobra species. The Philippine cobra occurs mostly in the northern regions of the Philippines. They can be found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, Azria and Masbate.

Their venom is purely neurotoxin and they can spit it up to 3 metres. The Philippine cobra is a very sturdy snake of medium length, their average length is up to 3.3 feet and species can grow to lengths of 5.2 feet.

The venom of the Philippine cobra affects respiratory function and can cause neurotoxicity and respiratory paralysis. One bite can kill within 30 minutes, without the victim even displaying any symptoms at all.

The symptoms might include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, collapse and convulsions.

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6. Tiger Snake

Tiger snake australia
Image: Youtube

Australia is home to many deadly and venomous snakes. Tiger snake is one of them and is a highly venomous snake species found in the southern regions of Australia, including its coastal islands.

Tiger snakes are very aggressive and have a fearsome reputation. Tiger snakes come in many colours, in addition to the yellow and black bands that gave them their name. Tiger snakes can also be greenish-black or brownish-black with lighter yellow or cream-coloured bands, or solid colours with no bands like brownish-yellow or all black.

Tiger snake venoms possess potent neurotoxins, coagulants, haemolysins, and myotoxins. Death from a bite can occur within 30 minutes, but usually takes 6-24 hours. Prior to the development of antivenin, the fatality rate from Tiger snakes was 60-70%.

Symptoms of a bite include localized pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis.

The Tiger snake will generally flee if encountered, but can become aggressive when cornered and will strikes with flawless accuracy.

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5. Black Mamba

Black Mamba
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Black mambas live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa. They are Africa’s longest venomous snakes and are also among the fastest snakes in the world.

Black mambas are shy snakes and will always try to escape when confronted, but if cornered, these snakes will raise their heads, sometimes with a third of their body off the ground, spread their cobra-like neck-flap, open their black mouths, and hiss enough to frighten anyone.

Average length of the Black mambas is 8.2 feet but some can grow up to 14 feet in length. Black mambas are capable of reaching speeds of up to 20km/h. A single bite can kill anywhere from 10-25 adults and they can strike 12 times in a row.

The venom of black mambas is neurotoxin. In a single bite it can deliver up to 400mg of venom. Before the advent of black mamba antivenin, a bite from this deadly snake was 100 percent fatal, usually within about 20 minutes.

Initial symptom of the bite may be a tingling sensation in the area of the bite, tunnel vision, double vision, foaming of the mouth or nose, loss of muscle control, confusion. If proper medical attention is not given, symptoms rapidly progress to severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, cardio toxicity and paralysis. Eventually, the victim experiences convulsions, respiratory arrest, coma and then death.

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4. Taipan

Coastal Taipan

The Taipan are large, fast-moving and highly venomous snakes that are found in Australia. The Taipan currently has three recognised species, Inland Taipan, Coastal Taipan, Central Ranges Taipan. The Coastal Taipan has two more sub species.

Taipan possess highly neurotoxic venom with some other toxic constituents that have multiple effects on victims.

The venom is known to paralyse the victim’s nervous system and clot the blood, which then blocks blood vessels. Most people die within just one hour of a bite. Before the advent of an antivenin, there are no known survivors of a Taipan bite.

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3. Blue Krait

Blue Krait

The Blue Krait is also known as the Malayan Krait is a highly venomous snake species native to Southeast Asia. The Blue Krait is found in Peninsular Malaysia, central Viet Nam, Thailand, Bali, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Singapore, and Sumatra.

The blue Krait is probably the most venomous snake found in Asia and it ranks among the deadliest snakes in the world. These snakes are nocturnal and very aggressive in the night.

The average length of Blue Kraits is about 3.5 feet but the maximum length may reach up to 5.25 feet.

Blue kraits are an ophiophagus species, meaning that they feed on other snakes even those of their own kind. They also eat lizards, mice and other small animals. Blue Kraits are active hunter and move around at night in search of prey.

50% of bites from the deadly Blue Krait are fatal, even with the administration of antivenin.

The blue Kraits are not very aggressive and are quite timid. They will often attempt to hide rather than fight.

The venom of Blue Krait is neurotoxin; LD50 value in mice is 0.1 mg/kg, which means that their venom is 15 times more toxic than that of a common cobra.

The symptoms of the bite are loss of nerve function, muscle paralysis, cramps, tremors and muscle spasms this all leads to paralysis.

Before the development of antivenin, the fatality rate was 85%. Even if antivenin is administered on time, survival is not assured.

Death usually occurs within 6-12 hours of a Krait bite.

2. Eastern Brown Snake

Eastern brown snake is the second most venomous snake in the world
IMAGE CREDIT: Stewart Macdonald

An Eastern brown snake is the second most venomous land snake in the world. They are native to eastern and central Australia and southern New Guinea. Brown snakes are sometimes referred to as “city snakes” because they thrive in residential areas.

An Eastern brown snake has variable upper parts can be several shades of brown, ranging from pale brown to almost black, while its underside is pale cream-yellow, often with orange or grey splotches.

The eastern brown snake is up to 7 feet long with a slender build and its fangs are small compared to those of other Australian venomous snakes. They are fast moving and are aggressive. Even a juvenile can kill a human.

The eastern brown snake’s venom is neurotoxic and has blood coagulants. They are responsible for more deaths every year in Australia than any other group of snakes.

Symptoms can be rapid, with a headache developing in 15 minutes and clotting abnormalities within 30 minutes; collapse has been recorded as occurring as little as two minutes after being bitten.

1. Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan the most venomous snake in the world
Image Credits: Elliot Budd

Inland Taipan is the most venomous snake in the world. Inland Taipan can be found in the Channel country of south-western Queensland and north-eastern South Australia.

The inland taipan is dark tan, ranging from a rich, dark hue to a brownish light-green, depending on season. Its back, sides and tail may be different shades of brown and grey, with many scales having a wide blackish edge.

Average length of inland taipan is approximately 5.9 feet but some can reach up to a length of 8.2 feet.

A single bite of inland taipai is so lethal that it can kill at least 100 fully grown men, It is an extremely fast and agile snake that can strike instantly with extreme accuracy. It often strikes multiple times in the same attack.

With an LD/50 of 0.03mg/kg, it is 10 times as venomous as the Mojave Rattlesnake, and 50 times more than the common Cobra.

Fortunately, the Inland Taipan is not particularly aggressive and is rarely encountered by humans in the wild.

No fatalities have ever been recorded, though it could potentially kill an adult human within 45 minutes.

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