Last Reviewed and Updated on August 6, 2022
Snakes are fascinating creatures. Some aren’t venomous at all, and some will bite you and cause just a little discomfort, while some species can easily send you six feet under. Learn what are the most venomous snakes in the world, as well as which species of snakes take the crown on each continent.
The most venomous snake by the strength of venom
If you are looking for a snake that has the deadliest venom of them all, it is the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). The inland taipan is native to Australia. This is a snake with a toxin specialized for killing warm-blooded mammals, and it can release enough toxin in one bite to kill about 100 adult humans. If untreated, the bite has a high mortality rate (over 80%, but the actual number is probably higher).
This is by far the most toxic snake as far as known snake species go. Luckily, this snake species is a reclusive one and rarely comes into contact with humans. Not many bites from this snake have been recorded, and from those that were, almost all were from people studying the snake, snake handlers, or people who catch snakes to extract their venom.
Also read: facts about snakes
What are the deadliest snakes in the world?
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The most venomous snake in the world isn’t the deadliest one.
There are 4 species of snakes that can all be considered the deadliest as it is hard to properly count the number of victims. The only thing that can be said with 100% is that no other snake species comes close when it comes to causing snakebite-related deaths in humans. What sets these species apart from most other deadly snakes is that they live in highly populated areas. They come into contact with humans often. With all four species together, the number of snake bites per year is counted in hundreds of thousands.
These species are the Indian Cobra, the Common krait, Russell’s viper, and the Saw-scaled viper. All of these snake species can be found in South Asia, mostly in India.
Out of these four, the one with the most recorded deaths is the Indian Cobra, with estimates being around 15.000 per year.
However, the Saw-scaled viper, with its official numbers being “only” 5.000 per year, is believed to be the deadliest of them all because of its large habitat range, spanning from Asia to Africa, with many cases probably never being reported.
What are the most dangerous and venomous snakes in Africa?
Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is extremely venomous, and it is extremely dangerous. It is more dangerous than the inland taipan, for example, as it’s more common and very aggressive and territorial. This snake species is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the world’s most venomous snakes; untreated bites have a 100% mortality rate.
Puff adder, on the other hand, is responsible for most snakebites on this continent and thus most snakebite fatalities. It is a widespread snake species and can commonly be found in highly populated areas.
Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) has one of the most potent venoms of all snakes native to Africa; even a scratch is enough to cause serious issues. It’s a very timid snake, and snake bites from this species are rare.
What are the most dangerous and venomous snakes in Europe?
Europe is pretty safe as far as snakes go. The most common venomous snake in Europe is the common European adder (Vipera berus), which can be found all over the continent. These snakes, while venomous, aren’t regarded as too dangerous. They can deliver a painful bite, but it is rarely fatal, even if not treated.
The horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) is considered the most dangerous snake in Europe due to its size, large fangs, and high venom toxicity (which is still rarely life-threatening).
How about North America?
The most dangerous snake in North America is the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. This snake isn’t usually aggressive but can deliver a powerful blow. If untreated, the bite from this snake can be deadly.
Or South America?
The fer-de-lance’s (Bothrops asper) delivers the most snake bites in South America and is considered the most dangerous in South (and Central) America.
Coral snakes are another group of snakes that you should be wary of. They are very venomous however snakebites are rare. Toxins in many species aren’t yet well studied.
The most venomous and deadliest snakes of Australia
With Inland taipan being the world’s most venomous snake, this also makes it the most venomous snake in Australia. But bites from this snake are very rare, so it isn’t the deadliest or most dangerous one.
The Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) is responsible for more than half of snakebite-related deaths in Australia. It is also considered the world’s second most venomous land snake.
The most venomous snake in Asia
We already mentioned the big four, the four species of snakes that are responsible for most snakebites on the continent, and the complications that go along with them. But the big four aren’t the most venomous.
The most venomous snake in Asia is the Many-banded krait.
What is the most poisonous snake in the world?
Trick question? Not really. While snakes are generally venomous and not poisonous, there are two species that are considered poisonous. These snakes feed on poisonous animals, and they retain that poison in their bodies. So if a bird or other animal decides to eat the snake, it may get poisoned.
Rhabdophis and a small population of garter snakes (in Oregon, USA) are poisonous.