Much is known about a large variety of venomous and “deadly” snakes in the world. Despite that knowledge, it’s hard to pin-point which of these slithering serpents is most lethal. One could judge them by the most potent venom, total or yearly fatalities, aggression, strength or countless other qualities. I’ll do my best to combine these elements and order this list of deadly snakes in descending order. This is strictly personal opinion!
10. Tiger Rattlesnake
The Tiger Rattlesnake is notorious for being the most venomous snake in the United States. They have a small, diamond shaped head and their overall length is smaller than the average rattlesnake. They rarely bite humans and produce a small amount of venom. Regardless of their docile nature, the Tiger Rattlesnake’s venom is said to be 64x more toxic than that of the more well-known Diamondback or Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake.
9. Saw-scaled Viper
In defiance of it’s small size, the Saw-scaled Viper has very toxic venom and unfortunately, is very aggressive. It is lightning fast and often strikes it’s victim multiple times before they realize what happened. This species of snake carries between 18 and 72 mg of venom. Experts estimate a 5 mg dose is fatal. Most victims stumble over the Saw-scaled Viper at night. Getting too close or stepping on one of these ill-tempered snakes can easily results in a fatal bite.
8. King Brown Snake
The King Brown Snake is more commonly known as a Mulga Snake in Australia. It produces a neurotoxin venom which is delivered in very high doses. What makes this snake so dangerous is the sheer length, size of fangs and amount of venom delivered in a bite. 50% of their human victims experience a large enough dose that antivenom treatment is required. In comparison, the Saw-scaled Viper produces a maximum of 72 mg of venom, while the king brown snake can deliver up to 150 mg of venom in a single bite.
7. King Cobra
The king cobra is the world’s largest snake that is venomous. Found in India and Southeast Asia, these snakes can grow up to 18 feet in length. They’re not as confrontational as some snakes and rarely bite humans. King cobras tend to flee or escape if given a chance. When they’re cornered or aggravated they become extremely aggressive. Their bites often yield a fatal dose of neurotoxic venom which attacks it’s victims respiratory system. They’ve been known to inject between 200 – 500 mg of venom in a single bite. Their venom can cause drowsiness, paralysis, severe pain and in some cases, coma and even death.
6. Puff Adder
Known for their incredible “puff” or hissing noises, the Puff Adder gives a warning when you’ve come too close. Their venom is “cytotoxic” and slow acting. If left untreated, the victim’s muscles and flesh are destroyed and rotted by necrosis. Eventually, gangrene can set in. These are rather slow moving snakes that can sit and wait for weeks, using almost no energy as they wait for prey. Despite moving slow compared to other snakes, they’re highly aggressive and strike with incredible speed. Their bites penetrate deep, injecting between 100 to 300 mg of venom. A healthy human can die from a bite with just 100 mg of venom in as little as 25 hours.
5. Russell’s Viper
Without doubt, the Russell’s Viper is one of the scariest snakes in the world. This slithering death-bringer not only looks serious, their venom does some serious damage to the body. Their venom coagulates blood causing clots in as little as 20 minutes. Shortly after bitten, it’s victim begins bleeding from every orifice in the body. And as if that wasn’t enough, they deliver their bites with the largest fangs of any type of snake in the world. Last but not least, the russell’s viper is responsible for more death’s in Asia than any other snake.
4. Coastal Taipan
The coastal taipan is the third most venomous land snake in the world. These deadly snakes yield 120 mg per bite on average. Because their venom is so toxic there is a 100% mortality rate for victims that go untreated. Similar to the Russell’s Viper, the Coastal Taipan’s venom coagulates their victim’s blood. Death occurs after 90 minutes (on average) without treatmeant while some cases document death in as little as 30 minutes.
3. Fer De Lance
This incredibly deadly pit viper is responsible for 46% of all snake bites in Costa Rica. Fer De Lance are quick, often landing multiple strikes to anyone who steps on them or simply comes too close. Their venom is rarely fatal and since the increase in antivenin, the mortality rate has nearly dropped to 0%. Low mortality rate or not, their venom completely wrecks the human body. Whether untreated or mistreated, the Fer De Lance venom will rot the flesh around the bitten area. Their bites cause loss of limbs and in extreme cases, death.
2. Black Mamba
The longest and most venomous snake in Africa. The black mamba or “black mouth mamba” gets it’s name from the pitch-black coloration of the inside of it’s mouth. Countless myths and legends surround this snake because of it’s incredible speed, aggression and venom toxicity. This is a territorial snake that is known to fight back when cornered. They spend the majority of their lives in tree tops, hunting and sun bathing. While on the ground, they become the fastest snake in the world, traveling at speeds up to 12 MPH. Before antivenom was widely available in Africa, it had a 100% mortality rate because this species always delivers a fatal dose of venom. While the range of venom toxicity and “lethal dose” greatly vary between studies, it’s commonly believed that 10 – 15 mg of their venom will kill an adult human. A black mamba (on average) injects 150 mg of venom. Victims have died in as little as 30 minutes without antivenom treatment.
1. Inland Taipan
The Inland Taipan or “Fierce Snake” pacts the deadliest venom in the world (4x deadlier than the coastal taipan). The average yield per bite is around 45 mg, enough to kill 100 humans. Their potent venom can bring death in as little as 30 minutes! Regardless, the inland taipan rarely strikes at people. They tend to shy away from confrontation. Most victims are herpetologists and persons studying or extracting their venom to produce antivenin.