March 01,2021

Today we are going to take you for a thrilling virtual tour to the world of the most deadliest and dangerous snakes in the world. Snakes have always belonged to the world’s mysterious and scary category of creatures. Humans have a strange relationship with snakes. We co-evolved with these carnivorous reptiles. They have been a part of our mythology, folklore and religions. There were several cultures which deemed snake a creature worthy of worship.

Snakes, especially cobra, was the subject of ancient Egyptians’ worship as well. Serpents could embody either the evil, or the good. In India, snake worship has a longstanding tradition, as “nagas” are ranked high in Hindu mythology. In ancient Rome we can also observe the tradition of snake worship, as the name of Marsian goddess Angitia origins from the word “serpent”, and she was the goddess of snake-charmers, snakes and witches.

Ancient Greece was not an exception either, as for their myth, Eurynome and Ophion (meaning serpent) ruled the world, before they were defeated by Rhea and Kronos. But over the course of centuries, there has been a decline in snake’s reputation as a deity or a mythological creature as modern man is becoming aware of the dangers of being close to snakes. We don’t like them, we fear of them and we exterminate them wherever we can.

This article explores the 8 deadliest snakes currently known to exist, based on an analysis of their overall toxicity and potential for human fatalities in the absence of medical attention or appropriate antivenom.

Below is our list of 8 the world’s most venomous snakes, along with an image and some information about each species:

1. Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

Mojave Green Rattlesnake - Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument (U.S.  National Park Service)

  • Average Size: 3.3 feet
  • Geographical Range: Southwestern United States and central Mexico
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

The Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) is a highly venomous pitviper inhabiting the arid interior deserts, grasslands, and savannas of western North America. It is perhaps best known for its potent neurotoxic-hemotoxic venom, which is considered one of the world’s most potent rattlesnake venoms.  Crotalus scutulatus (common names: Mojave rattlesnake, Mojave green, is a highly venomous pit viper species.

Bites from the Mojave Rattler often have delayed symptoms, prompting individuals to often underestimate the severity of their bite. However, within hours, vision problems, difficulty speaking/swallowing, as well as muscle weakness are very common. Moreover, the venom often causes difficulty breathing and often leads to respiratory failure if prompt medical treatment is not sought.

2. Belcher’s Sea Snake (Hydrophis belcheri)

Belcher's Sea Snake Washed Ashore

  • Average Size: 1.5–3.3 feet
  • Geographical Range: Primarily near the tropical reefs of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Thailand, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the coastline of the Philippines (with some specimens found off the coast of Australia and the Solomon Islands)
  • Conservation Status: Unknown (Data Deficient)

Belcher’s sea snake, which many times is mistakenly called the hook-nosed sea snake, has been erroneously popularized as the most venomous snake in the world. Hydrophis belcheri, commonly known as the faint-banded sea snake or Belcher’s sea snake, is an extremely venomous species of elapid sea snake. It has a timid temperament and would normally have to be subjected to severe mistreatment before biting. Usually those bitten are fishermen handling nets, although only one-quarter of those bitten are envenomated since the snake rarely injects much of its venom. Although not much is known about the venom of this species.

The snake’s venom contains high levels of neurotoxins and myotoxins. One drop of its venom is thought to be strong enough to kill 1,800 people. General symptoms of their bite are extreme nausea and vomiting, migraine headache, diarrhea, extreme abdominal pain, dizziness, and convulsions. Other symptoms include paralysis, muscle impairment, extreme bleeding, hysteria, respiratory failure, and renal failure.

3. Blue Krait (Bungarus candidus)

Blue krait (Bungarus candidus)

  • Average Size: 3.6 feet
  • Geographical Range: Throughout Thailand and much of Southeast Asia
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

Bungarus candidus, commonly known as the Malayan krait or blue krait, is a highly venomous species of snake. The blue krait is a member of the elapid family. It is found in southeast Asia from Indochina south to Java and Bali in Indonesia.

The Blue Krait’s venom is highly potent and consists of extremely powerful neurotoxins that paralyze its victim’s muscular system. The neurotoxins are made up of presynaptic and postsynaptic toxins that are known to directly attack an individual’s ability to speak or think clearly. The Blue Krait’s venom also attacks an individual’s respiratory system, causing suffocation from an inability to breathe within four hours.

4. Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

Taipans, <em>Oxyuranus</em> <small>Kinghorn, 1923</small> : School of  Biomedical Sciences

  • Average Size: 5.9 feet
  • Geographical Range: The west and southwest of Queensland, far west of New South Wales into the northeast corner of South Australia, and the southeast of the Northern Territory
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

The inland taipan, also commonly known as the western taipan, the small-scaled snake or the fierce snake, is a species of extremely venomous snake in the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to semi-arid regions of central east Australia.

The Taipan’s venom contains high levels of neurotoxins. One bite from a Taipan often results in paralysis of the victim’s nervous system and clots the blood, preventing an adequate flow of blood through the blood vessels. Headache, nausea/vomiting, convulsions, paralysis, and myolysis are also common results of Taipan bites, with respiratory paralysis setting in anywhere from 2 to 6 hours after the bite.

5. Eastern Brown (Pseudonaja textilis)

Like alchemists with killer precision, brown snakes make different venoms  across their lifetime

  • Average Size: 4.9–6.6 feet
  • Geographical Range: Eastern and central Australia and southern New Guinea
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

Eastern Browns are found in nearly all environments, except for dense forests, around Australia. They are most common around farms, as their main prey includes the populous house mouse.

The Eastern Brown Snake’s venom is extremely deadly and is responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other snake species. Out of 35 reported snake-bite deaths between 2000 and 2016 in Australia, 23 of the were caused by the Eastern Brown Snake (University of Melbourne, 2017).

6. Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

Black mamba - Wikipedia

  • Average Size: 6.6–10 feet
  • Geographical Range: Southern and eastern Africa
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

Black mamba are common in sub-Saharan areas of south and east Africa. They can be found as far north as Eritrea, through South Africa, and as far west as Namibia. Though they are not common in western Africa, there have been individual sightings. These sightings may indicate improper documentation, remaining populations from what was once a larger range, or new populations, indicating a growing range. No information was available on introduced range of this species.

Unlike other snakes, the Black Mamba typically delivers multiple bites when it strikes. Its venom, which is composed primarily of neurotoxins, induces symptoms within a span of 10 minutes and is fatal if antivenom is not administered rapidly.

7.Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)

Esperance Fauna: Tiger Snake - Notechis scutatus

  • Average Size: 3.9 feet
  • Geographical Range: Southeastern Australia (including the Bass Strait islands and Tasmania), and the southwestern part of Australia
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Stable)

Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) are a highly venomous snake species found in the southern regions of Australia, including its coastal islands, such as Tasmania. These snakes are highly variable in their colour, often banded like those on a tiger, and forms in their regional occurrences. All populations are in the genus Notechis, and their diverse characters have been described in further subdivisions of this group; they are sometimes described as distinct species and/or subspecies.

8. Philippine Cobra (Naja philippinensis)

The Philippine Cobra - Owlcation - Education

  • Average Size: 3.3 feet
  • Geographical Range: Northern Philippines
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened (Population Decreasing)

The Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) also called northern Philippine cobra, is a stocky, highly venomous species of spitting cobra native to the northern regions of the Philippines. The Philippine cobra is a stocky snake of medium length with long cervical ribs capable of expanding, so when threatened, a hood can be formed.

Composed of a postsynaptic neurotoxin that directly affects the respiratory system of its victims, the venom of the Philippine Cobra is extremely potent. It is also known to cause paralysis of the neuromuscular system. Symptoms of a cobra’s bite include extreme nausea, vomiting, migraines, abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhea, difficulty speaking and/or breathing. Unlike the Mojave Rattlesnake, symptoms often appear very rapidly (within 30 minutes).

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