11 Coolest Looking Snakes in the World

Written by Kristen Holder
Updated: March 11, 2022
Image Credit reptiles4all/Shutterstock.com
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Think You Know Snakes?

The great thing about being considered the coolest-looking is having a wide range of attributes. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, right? Anything interesting because of its visual attractiveness is fair game from appearance to size.

Snakes are also called serpents. This is because all snakes belong to the biological suborder Serpentes. Colorful snakes are not always venomous, as popularly believed.

Snakes are slithering, legless reptiles that inhabit every part of the planet except the arctic circle and Antarctica. There are thousands of snakes to choose from, but we’ve narrowed down the coolest looking snakes to this list of our top eleven picks.

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11. Ringneck Snake

Smallest Snakes: Ringneck Snake
Ringneck snakes are commonly kept as pets.

Michael K. McDermott/Shutterstock.com

Starting off our list is the ringneck snake that looks like it’s wearing an orange necklace. Its average size of 10 to 15 inches also makes it small enough to be cute. Being cute and accessorized really makes this snake cool-looking.

Although they are common, these snakes are nocturnal, so they’re hard to spot in the wild. They tend to dine on earthworms and slugs, though they’ll also consume frogs and lizards. Ringneck snakes are also known to eat juvenile snakes.

Ringneck snakes are found in southern Canada, Mexico, and the United States. They’re kept as pets and eat a diet mainly of insects and earthworms. There are a few different kinds of ringneck snakes, but all have the characteristic band around their neck.

10. Palmetto Corn Snake

palmetto corn snake
Palmetto corn snakes are off-white with speckles.

PetlinDmitry/Shutterstock.com

[image: a palmetto corn snake. Caption – Palmetto corn snakes are off-white with speckles.]

This snake has a creamy-white body with brown freckles that make it look like pecan praline ice cream from a distance, though its speckles contain some blotchy red as well. Its look, like a classic dessert, is really cool, so we’re putting this snake on our coolest looking snakes in the world list.

No one knows exactly why corn snakes are called corn snakes. It may be because they hang out around corn stockpiles, and it may be because their colored scales can look like corn. These snakes are often bred in captivity, but they can also be found in the wild. Their coloration is caused by a recessive gene.

Palmetto corn snakes make great first-time snakes for ownership, although they’re a 15 to 20-year commitment. They constrict their prey instead of biting it, so they’re not prone to biting. They also possess little venom, so even if they manage to chomp down on a human, it’s not very dangerous.

The palmetto corn snake is named such because it was discovered in South Carolina, which is the palmetto state. The palmetto is a small shaggy palm tree-like plant and has little to do with the palmetto corn snake.

9. Barbados Threadsnake

threadsnake
Barbados threadsnakes are tiny and rare.

somyot pattana/Shutterstock.com

These snakes are really cool-looking because they’re so tiny. The largest of the Barbados threadsnakes is only 4 inches long, and they’re blind burrowers.

The Barbados threadsnake was originally discovered in 2008, but right after its discovery, museums uncovered misclassified specimens dating back to the late 1800s.

There’s a similar invasive yet common species, a lot like the Barbados threadsnake that competes for the depleted territory available on Barbados. That snake is the flowerpot blindsnake, and while it’s similar to the Barbados threadsnake, it is distinctly different. Humans are ultimately the biggest threat to the rare Barbados threadsnake.

8. Scaleless Corn Snake

isolated scaleless corn snake
The scaleless corn snake has some scales.

iStock.com/GlobalP

The scaleless corn snake isn’t completely scaleless. It has some scales on its belly and in patterns on its body, but the fact that even some parts of this snake are scaleless makes it look super cool.

This critter has bulging eyes that are, in fact, not any larger in proportion to its body than other snakes. Since the eyes lack scales, they look humongous.

The scaleless corn snake almost always exists because it is bred in captivity and not really in the wild. It is a hybridization of corn snakes and rat snakes. It exists in the wild but is super hard to find.

7. San Francisco Garter Snake

san francisco garter snake
San Francisco garter snakes are endangered because of human development.

reptiles4all/Shutterstock.com

This San Francisco garter snake has made it onto our coolest looking list because of its striking appearance. It’s a subspecies of the common garter snake, is found in Northern California, and is endangered. It has a colorful striped and dotted pattern consisting of orange, red, black, and turquoise.

These snakes are harmless even though they have some venom in their saliva. They don’t have fangs, so they’re really not to be feared. These snakes are found near water, and they lure their prey in with their black-tipped red tongue. They can grow up to four and a half feet in length.

San Francisco garter snakes were declared an endangered species in 1967, and their numbers continue to decline due to development and the pet trade. A lot of these snakes are stolen from their habitat for collectors, and it’s easy to see why. They are really cool looking. They only consist of a few thousand wild individuals, and it’s illegal to harvest these snakes.   

6. Blue Malaysian Coral Snake

Blue Malaysian Coral Snake
The blue Malaysian coral snake is blue-black with red on its head and tail.

reptiles4all/Shutterstock.com

The blue Malaysian coral snake mainly dines on other snakes. While it is obviously found in Malaysia, it also lives in Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. This snake is aggressive and makes a horrible choice for snake hobbyists.

This snake lives in mainly forested areas, and its underbelly is almost a baby blue. It’s a dangerous snake, though it’s worth noting that its venom works in an unusual way. The bite causes paralysis.

Its red head and tail contrasted against the monotone geometric black and white on its body are a striking contrast. The detail of its body with the hint of color at either end of this critter definitely makes it one of the coolest-looking snakes on the planet.

5. Banana Ball Python

banana ball python
Banana ball pythons have a whimsical pastel coloring.

pelsopython/Shutterstock.com

Pythons are cool on their own, but the banana ball python is one of the coolest-looking pythons. It is polka-dotted with black spots over a pinkish-cream body with yellow spots.

It’s a very pop-art-looking snake, like someone did a fantastic paint by color, and this is the creature that showed up on the page. This snake makes the cool list because its coloration is fabulous.

Ball pythons have the word “ball” in their name because they become curled balls when they get stressed out. These snakes have a good temperament, so they’re popular pet snakes.

4. High Yellow-Green Tree Python

high yellow green tree python
Pixelated high yellow-green tree pythons grow to be almost 7 feet long.

Rosa Jay/Shutterstock.com

This beauty is a nonvenomous python that can grow up to 7 feet long. It strikes at its prey and constricts it. It mainly lives off mammals, though it will eat lizards and other reptiles. This snake is found on some islands in Indonesia.

The high yellow-green tree python’s vibrant yellow color has an almost pixelated green pattern over the top of it. Both colors are bold and contrast against each other in a way that’s super pleasing to the eye.

3. Brazilian Rainbow Boa

brazilian rainbow boa
With an oil slick coloration over its more common patterning, the Brazilian rainbow boa stands out from the crowd.

Kassia Marie Ott/Shutterstock.com

This is another dazzling snake that has the looks to make it to the coolest looking snakes list. While its iridescence can be found on some other snakes, this one looks the coolest of them all. Its shimmery scales are most glorious right after it sheds.

The reason this snake looks like a colorful oil slick is because there are ridges on its scales that act like little prisms. This prettiness extends for 5 to 7 feet on this larger snake. Its normal coloration is also distinct, so this snake is all-around attractive whether it’s in the sun or not.

These snakes spend half of their time in trees and live in South and Central America, with most being in the Amazon basin. They’re a popular pet with snake connoisseurs, but only intermediate and advanced keepers should give these beauties a shot.

The offspring of these snakes are shy and prone to nipping, but they acclimate to being handled with a little patience. They primarily eat rats and mice when in captivity.

2. Snow Hognose Snake

snow hognose snake
There are many variations of the hognose snake, including the snow hognose snake, that’s almost all white.

fivespots/Shutterstock.com

The snow hognose snake is immaculately white, with some very subtle grey to brown differentiations in its patterning. It’ll make a meal out of a variety of species such as small mammals, lizards, insects, worms, salamanders, and birds.

These snakes make themselves puffy when they fear being attacked, but they make great pets because they almost always don’t bite. They are a little venomous, but their fangs are tiny, and venom production is low.

Snow hognose snakes grow up to 3 feet in length. Lots of captive-bred snow hognose snakes are kept as pets not only for their snow-white coloration but for their distinctly flat nose. These snakes are great for first-time snake owners because they have a good temperament and come with little fuss regarding care.

Their nose and coloration are two super cool-looking attributes in one reptile.

1. Paradise Tree Snake

paradise flying snake wrapped around tree trunk
The paradise tree snake is a flying snake and can glide up to 30 feet in the air.

PACO COMO/Shutterstock.com

The top coolest-looking snake in the world is the paradise tree snake. This snake is one of the numerous flying snakes found on the planet. The paradise tree snake can glide up to 30 feet in the air by flattening its body and undulating to glide.

Found in southeast Asian forests, paradise tree snakes eat mostly lizards and bats. These snakes are black with different color spots, and the brightness of the spots is eye-popping. It’s so cool that something like this can appear in nature when it almost looks like an artist created it.  

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About the Author

I'm a freelance ghostwriter that specializes in SEO content. I have always loved writing, and when COVID happened, I went at my passion full tilt. I'm currently in Spokane, WA by way of Phoenix, AZ, though I'm originally from Sacramento, CA. Freelancing allows me the freedom to move around as I please.

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