Fangs for dropping by, as we look at a few of the most venomous snakes in the world — including the most venomous snake of all.
This list is based on SC (subcutaneous injection) LD50 tests, which show much of each snake’s venom is needed to kill at least 50 per cent of a given species (usually mice or rats) if administered during tests.
One quick note: the world’s most venomous snakes are not necessarily the deadliest. Just because a snake has extremely potent venom does not mean it is more likely to kill than one of its less venomous rivals.
This is because different species of snake release different quantities, and concentrations, of venom with each bite — so a more venomous snake may actually release less venom.
Some extremely venomous snakes may also have fangs that struggle to penetrate.
Now, tread carefully as we look at some of the most venomous snakes in the world…
6 Tiger Rattlesnake
Also known as: Tiger rattler.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.21 mg/kg
Where can it be found? Southwest USA and northwest Mexico.
The Tiger Rattlesnake is the most venomous rattlesnake on the planet and the most venomous snake in the Western Hemisphere.
However because of their venom yield (11 mg) and relatively small teeth, their bites are not really considered to be life-threatening to adult humans.
Of the few record bites from a Tiger Rattlesnake, victims have recorded small swelling and little local pain from the bite.
However, a bite from a Tiger Rattlesnake could potentially be dangerous to a child.
1 Hook-nosed Sea Snake
Otherwise known as: Beaked sea snake, hook-nosed sea snake, Valakadyn sea snake or the common sea snake.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.1125 mg/kg
Where can it be found? Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Asian sea’s (Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Vietnam).
Steer well clear of this sea snake if you can. Though the title of the world’s most venomous snake is debated, the hook nosed sea snake is now often regarded as the deadliest of them all.
It is known not just for being extremely venomous but also highly aggressive. This species of sea snake has been implicated in over 50 per cent of all sea snake bites and is responsible for around 90 per cent of all deaths caused by sea snakes.
The snake’s average venom yield is 8-9mg, but as as little as 1.5mg of venom from a Hook-nosed sea snake is enough to be fatal to a person
Most sea snakes are venomous, so if you see one, swim away from it!
4 Coastal Taipan
Also known as: Common taipan.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.105 mg/kg
Where can it be found? North/East Australia and New Guinea.
The coastal taipan is easily one of the most venomous land snake in the world, but not quite as venomous as its inland relative, below.
The coastal taipan can deliver a yield of venom of up to 400mg per bite, with an average of 120mg.
Its venom contains taicatoxin, a neurotoxin that horribly clots its victim’s blood. Its bite is always fatal if not treated.
The poison can kill a human in just 30 minutes, so if you get bitten by one, head for treatment straight away.
5 Black Mamba
Also known as: Common black mamba or black-mouthed mamba.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.05 mg/kg
Where can it be found? Eastern and southern Africa.
The Black Mamba is certainly a terrifying prospect to come across. This highly venomous snake is not just deadly, but fast and large.
It is the longest species of venomous snake in Africa, second longest in the world and also the fastest snake in the world, reaching speeds of around 12mph.
When coming into contact with humans, most of the time a Black Mamba will flee, but if threatened the snake has a reputation for being extremely aggressive.
The venom carried by a Black Mamba is considered to be the most fast-acting killer venom in the world. Its mixture of neurotoxins and cardiotoxins can kill a human in less than 20 minutes if not treated.
Death is not always that quick though, and a human can survive a few hours in some cases after a bite.
Because of the combination of this and its speed and aggressive nature, the Black Mamba is described by many experts as the world’s most dangerous snake.
3 Eastern Brown Snake
Also known as: Common brown snake.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.053 mg/kg
Where can it be found? East coast of Australia, arid areas of the Northern Territory of Australia, far east of the Kimberley in Western Australia and in parts of New Guinea.
The eastern brown snake is not a snake you want to mess with. If agitated, it will show aggressive behavior towards humans.
It is no slouch either and has been recorded as chasing a person at speed for up to 100 meters.
The snake will however only usually react to movement, so don’t make quick movements if you find yourself next to one.
A venomous bite from an eastern brown snake contains neurotoxins and blood coagulants. Not all bites from a brown snake are fatal though.
The mortality rate for untreated bites from an eastern brown snake is around 15 per cent.
The eastern brown snake is thought to be the second most venomous land snake in the world.
1 Inland Taipan
Also known as: Small-scaled snake and the fierce snake.
Lethal Dose Median (LD50): 0.025 mg/kg
Where can it be found? Arid regions of central and western Australia.
The Inland Taipan or the “fierce snake”, as it is often called, is said to be the world’s most venomous land snake.
The maximum yield from a single bite is recorded at 110mg, enough to kill 100 humans or 250,000 mice.
Not that it could get its teeth into 250,000 mice in one go though!
Pretty terrifying huh? Well not exactly. In the wild, these reptiles are quite docile and do not usually come into contact with humans.
There have been no reported fatalities from an Inland Taipan bite since the advent of bite-specific anti-venom.
Still, don’t get bitten by one of these as it will kill you quite quickly if left untreated.
Have you had any experiences with venomous snakes or know anyone who does? Do you know anything interesting about venomous snakes that we’ve missed off this list? Let us know in the comments section below.