25 Most Poisonous Snakes in the World & Where They Are Found

You can’t find a more intriguing species than snakes but that’s only when you are watching them from afar, at a distance in the wild, behind a cage, on your TV, PC or smartphones! You certainly won’t want one to wriggle past you or stare right into your eyes, would you? Although all snakes are not venomous, it’s the poisonous ones that invariably make us so fearful of them.

India reports about 50,000 deaths by snakebite per year, the most number of deaths by snake bite reported by any country. From King Cobras to Black Mambas, venomous snakes inject toxic venom into a person’s bloodstream, which causes cardiac, respiratory and nervous failure.

While all snakes aren’t deadly, it is better to know about them so you can avoid any unwanted risks when you’re out in nature. This list gives you an overview of 25 of the most venomous snakes in the world, some of which are predominant in India.

1) Russell’s Viper


Named after Scottish herpetologist Patrick Russell, the Russell’s Viper is one of the deadliest snakes in India and the world. Also known as Daboia, this poisonous snake injects maximum venom once it bites a person, which leads to acute nausea, dizziness and kidney failure. The Russell’s Viper accounts for thousands of deaths across Asia every year. It is found throughout the Indian subcontinent, southern China and Pakistan.

2) Saw-scaled Viper


Usually found in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and adjoining regions, the saw-scaled viper is a relatively small snake. Don’t go by its size though as it more than makes up for it with its aggressive behaviour. One of the most venomous snakes found in India, this species is believed to cause more deaths in their territories than all the other species combined!

3) Spectacled Cobra


The spectacled cobra is also known as Naja Naja and shouldn’t be confused with the King Cobra. This snake has a shy nature but can deliver one of the most venomous bites in the world. Its venom contains neurotoxins that lead to failure of the respiratory, nervous and cardiac systems. It is found throughout India as well, especially in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

4) Indian Krait


Another extremely venomous snake found in the Indian subcontinent is the Indian Krait, which injects venom into the victim’s body. This venom contains 16 times more powerful neurotoxins than a cobra! The results are muscle paralysis and death through asphyxiation within hours if untreated.

5) King Cobra


The King Cobra is the most feared snake in India and the longest venomous snake in the world. Though it is inherently calm, once irritated it can get really aggressive. Its venom contains neurotoxins that cause muscle paralysis once injected into a victim’s bloodstream. It is found predominantly in Indian forests and throughout southeast Asia.

6) Malabar Pit Viper


The Malabar Pit Viper is found in Southern and Western India. Its most distinguishing feature is its prehensile tail that can hold objects. These reptiles are nocturnal and mostly come out during the monsoons. These deadly snakes are known for their fast strikes.

7) Hump-Nosed Pit Viper


This viper can be distinguished by its smooth scales, wide triangular head and the humped nose. Mainly limited to dense jungles and coffee plantations in Kerala, these deadly snakes cause systemic toxicity and tissue necrosis through their venom.

8) Bamboo Pit Viper


The Bamboo Pit Viper is one of the most attractive snakes in India, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the deadliest as well. Its brilliant skin colour is the reason behind its widespread hunting. This snake has folded fangs and can deliver high dosages of venom with its bites that can cause acute pain and tissue swelling. It’s found only in southern India.

9) Yellow-lipped Sea Krait


Common in the Indo-Pacific waters, this snake looks like an eel and has a tail that can be confused with its head. Attractive, beautiful and shy at nature, the Yellow-lipped Sea Krait is extremely poisonous as well.

10) Eyelash Viper


The Eyelash Viper is a great predator and is known to choose a specific site to ambush its prey every time. Typically found in South America, this snake has a reputation of flashing its eyelashes on its victims before it injects its venomous strike, and hence the name.

11) Coral Snake


The Coral Snake is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Its poisonous bite may seem to be dry at first, with victims exhibiting no symptoms at all. However, the symptoms set in hours later if untreated, which makes it even more deadly. The venom causes slurred speech and blurred vision, ultimately leading to cardiac failure. It is mostly found in the southern part of U.S.

12) Boomslang

Boomslang Snake

The Boomslang can open its mouth up to an angle of 170 degrees to inject the maximum amount of venom in the victim’s body. This deadly snake’s bite causes internal and external bleeding, which ultimately causes the victim’s death. Boomslang is native and found only in Sub-Saharan Africa.

13) Western Brown Snake


Native to Australia, the Gwardar or the Western Brown Snake is an elapid snake. Its patterns change according to the location in which it roams. The Gwardar is very fast and extremely venomous and can cause fatal damage to its victims with a bite.

14) Forest Cobra


The Forest Cobra isn’t as feared as the King Cobra although it is extremely venomous as well. It portrays the typical cobra behaviour of rising one-thirds of its length and hissing to shoo away any danger. Its venom contains high amounts of neurotoxins that make its bite a life-threatening condition. It’s mainly found in Africa.

15) Coastal Taipan


The Coastal Taipan can be considered as the most venomous snake in Australia, but its shy nature makes it less likely to attack humans. However, if cornered, it can be ferocious, and a single bite is enough to kill its target within minutes.

16) Dubois’s Sea Snake

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake striking with fangs extended.

Dubois’s Sea Snake is commonly found in the islands of New Guinea and New Candonia. This snake has one of the deadliest venoms ever recorded in snakes. However, it injects a relatively small amount of venom through its bite that isn’t generally enough to kill a human.

17) Black Mamba


The Black Mamba has the reputation of being considered the world’s deadliest snake. Native to Africa, these snakes get extremely aggressive when threatened. They are the fastest land snakes in the world. Its venom is powerful enough to kill a human with only 2 drops of it!

18) Tiger Snake


Tiger Snakes are widely found in Southern Australia and are known to adapt themselves in the most arid and challenging habitats. These snakes are highly venomous and have a history of being particularly notorious towards humans.

19) Blue Krait


One of the most venomous snakes in the world, Thailand’s Blue Krait has a bite that results in death in most of the cases. The death rate is more than 50% even if antivenom is administered.

20) Death Adder


The Death Adder is considered to be among the most venomous land snakes. Commonly found in Australia, they use a camouflaging technique to hunt down their prey. Its venom is highly toxic and can be fatal if not treated in time.

21) Belcher’s Sea Snake


Belcher’s Sea Snakes are usually a timid and shy species and it would take a lot from your end to make it aggressive. However, even a drop of its venom is enough to kill over a thousand people! That’s extreme, so it’s better to avoid provoking this particular snake. It’s mostly found in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Thailand, Solomon Islands and the Ashmore Reef region.

22) Jararaca


The Jararaca is commonly found in Brazil and is notorious for its habit of biting humans. Its venomous bite can cause nausea and even result in death if left untreated.

23) Viper


Vipers are the most venomous species of snakes in the world. These are found around the world and they prey on small rats and animals. Their deadly venom causes a range of symptoms from nausea to paralysis.

24) Western Green Mamba


Like the other mambas, the Western Green Mamba is also a fast, agile and nervous snake. It is a highly venomous elapid snake, which can be found in the tropical rainforests and woodlands of West Africa. Its highly toxic venom can kill several people if not treated quickly.

25) Eastern Green Mamba


The Eastern Green Mamba is another member of the mamba family, and like other mambas, it is very agile and fast. Extremely venomous, its bite causes nausea, dizziness and ultimately results in the failure of the whole respiratory system. The venom acts very quickly, so the treatment needs to be fast. It’ is found in the coastal regions of southern East Africa.

A word of advice—snakes don’t attack humans unless provoked. If you ever happen to cross paths with a venomous snake, just leave it as it is and go your way.

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