Man Stumbles Upon World’s Most Venomous Rattlesnake in Pitch Black Night

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Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Continue reading for our analysis...

Mojave rattlesnake close-up of rattle
© Rusty Dodson/

Key Points:

  • The venom of the Mojave Rattlesnake is ranked among the strongest in the world.
  • If a rattlesnake curls up and rattles its tail it could strike at any moment.
  • Mice are a favorite food of rattlesnakes – their presence being an indicator that a snake could be in the vicinity.

Animal Planet’s Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild is hosted by Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson, an American YouTuber and expert in wildlife. Peterson’s YouTube channel Brave Wilderness with over 20 million subscribers, primarily concentrates on filming and teaching viewers about wildlife.

In a now-viral video, Coyote is face-to-face with one of the most dangerous rattlesnakes on the planet. A pit viper species known as Mojave rattlesnakes are extremely venomous and may be found in central Mexico and the southwest United States. Its powerful venom, which is ranked among the strongest rattlesnake venoms in the world, is arguably what makes it most famous. These snakes are enormous, with triangular-shaped heads and hefty bodies.

On his way to explore the wilderness at night, Coyote and his team calm everyone’s nerves with an adorable Kangaroo rat. Kangaroo rats have large hind feet with four toes and lengthy tails. They have wide eyes and little ears and massive skulls. They’re much cuter than what Brave Wilderness discovers next in the shadows. 

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Along a row of cacti, Coyote finds a Mojave rattlesnake curled up next to a barrel cactus. Thankfully, when they spot the snake, it isn’t rattled by the appearance of humans. It simply tries to slowly slither away, but Peterson has other plans. 

As he continues to educate viewers about this dangerous serpent, Coyote is aware that he needs to keep a distance for his own safety. The snake becomes spooked for a moment when Peterson attempts to wrangle it with a hook, but quickly calms down. 

pale kangaroo mouse

According to the video – Kangaroo mice are among the Mojave Rattlesnake’s favorite prey.

©Been there YB/

During the winter, these snakes brumate alone or in small groups. They are most active from April to September. They are known for being hostile to people, and when threatened, they will actively defend themselves as other rattlesnakes do. Additionally, it has been reported that these slithery serpents would attack and chase people.

In the video, this particular Mojave rattlesnake feels threatened and cornered. It attempts to slither away several times and is continuously placed in front of the camera. At one point, Coyote notes that the snake curls back up and begins to rattle its tail. This is rare and a sign the snake will strike at any moment. 

Mojave rattlesnake close-up of rattle

An adult Mojave rattlesnake is pictured here in a defensive stance.

©Rusty Dodson/

The length of an adult Mojave rattlesnake ranges from two to four feet. Rattlesnakes typically have a maximum striking range of two-thirds of their length. If you’re ever in the wild and witness a rattlesnake shaking its tail, slowly back away until you’re in a safe area.

It’s important to remember that Coyote and his crew are professionals and aim to teach individuals about wild animals and safety in their videos. To see what ends up happening to Coyote, check out the video below. 

Is it Safe to Approach the World’s Most Venomous Rattlesnake?

Massasauga rattlesnake

Snakes should always be left alone, if bitten, rattlesnakes have potent neurotoxins that can cause harm.

©Matt Jeppson/

No, snakes should be left alone.

Nicknamed the Mojave green, the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. If bitten, the venom is potent with neurotoxins that target the nervous system and can cause deadly harm.

Rattlesnake bites, while infrequently lethal with a mortality rate of less than 1 in 600 cases, often do not inject venom in approximately 33 percent of incidents.

Nevertheless, for personal safety, it is crucial to assume that venom has been introduced and to seek medical treatment promptly in all cases.

Just How Venomous Is the Mohave Rattlesnake?

baby rattlesnake portrait

The venom of the Mohave rattlesnake has an impact on multiple areas of the victim’s body, including the brain, nervous system, muscles, and tissues.

©Alexander Wong/

Extremely so. As a matter of fact, the potency of its venom has been compared to certain members of that very special group of snakes which the king cobra happens to be a part of elapids.

Mohave rattlesnake venom affects both the brain and the nervous system as well as the muscles and tissues of the victim.

Symptoms include difficulties in breathing, talking, or swallowing, and muscle weakness.

It is worth noting that symptoms may not occur immediately after an attack, hence medical attention should be sought promptly to halt the effect of the venom.

If confronted with a rattlesnake, you should:

  • Stay calm, and do not panic. Staying calm will help you make the right decisions.
  • Don’t make any sudden movements.
  • Do not touch or disturb the snake.
  • Wear appropriate clothing while hiking such as boots and long pants.
  • Back away slowly and leave it alone. Snakes generally won’t attack unless provoked.

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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