Snakes are among the most feared creatures worldwide. They bite unsuspecting people and prey, transferring their toxins. Unfortunately, many of these bites are venomous, except for species like the garter snake, whose bite is totally harmless.
According to the World Health Organization, 5.4 million snake bites occur annually around the globe, resulting in 81,000 to 138,000 deaths. Approximately 400,000 victims of snake bites are left with psychological and permanent disabilities. Venomous snakes insert venom toxins into the prey, causing severe reactions, from immobilizing the victim to inflammation and death of tissues.
Here is the most venomous snake in the whole world whose drop of its venom is enough to take out 100 humans at a go!
(And yet, there’s no record of it killing a single person!)
The Most Venomous Snake in the World: The Inland Taipan
Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) is the world’s deadliest snake. It’s found in central Australia and is referred to as the fierce snake or the western taipan. This snake inhabits the Gibber Plains or the black soil plains of Australia. It is dark tan but changes color with the seasons. Inland Taipan is olive in summer and brown in winter.
Inland taipans have brown and gray shades on its back, tail, sides, and a wide blackish edge on its scales. They have yellow edges on the lowermost lateral scales. The Inland Taipan has a round-snouted head with different color variations depending on the season (black in winter and brown in summer). It has medium-sized eyes with a blackish-brown iris.
How Long is Inland Taipan?
Inland taipans don’t hold the title for being the longest venomous snake globally. Their length ranges between 1.8 to 2.7 meters. Some inland taipans can be as long as 2.9 meters (9.5 feet). Despite being the most venomous snake worldwide, it is not longer than the Burmese python and the green anaconda, among others.
How Heavy is Inland Taipan?
While inland taipans are the most venomous snake globally, they are not as heavy as the green anaconda. Inland Taipans are very skinny and weigh about 2.2 to 4.4 pounds (1-2kg). Green anacondas can weigh approximately 550 pounds! While Burmese Python weighs around 200 pounds.
How Toxic is Inland Taipan’s Venom?
The inland taipan’s venom is extremely lethal to all animals, including human beings. According to the Biochemical and biophysical research communications, the inland taipan’s venom is the most toxic known snake venom in the world. Based on a study published in the New York Times, the inland taipan’s venom is 50 times more dangerous than king cobra’s!
An inland taipan’s venom attacks the body on multiple levels because it consists of two different properties known as hemotoxins and neurotoxins. Besides, the inland taipan is a mammal hunter, and its venom is designed to kill warm-blooded animals, including humans.
A bite from an inland taipan, which is also equal to a single dose of its venom, is enough to kill 250 thousand mice or 100 people at a go. The venom can kill someone in 30 mins if left untreated.
What Happens When an Inland Taipan Bites You?
The neurotoxins in an inland taipan’s venom affects the nervous system, influencing one’s ability to control their body. Initially, the person starts experiencing seizures, mumbling or poor pronunciation of words, breathing difficulties, and trembling.
Next, hemotoxins hinder the blood clotting process leading to internal bleeding. After that, the person experiences ventilation shutdown or organ failure, suffocating and dying.
It’s recommended that anyone bitten by an inland taipan or any other kind of venomous snake should seek medical attention. Anti-venom exists and is effective, but anyone bitten must have anti-venom administered as soon as possible as the inland taipan’s venom begins causing medical issues extremely rapidly.
How Many Humans Are Killed Each Year by an Inland Taipan?
Although the inland taipan produces the most toxic venom in the animal kingdom, these snakes are naturally shy and would do anything to avoid human beings. They hardly bite unless provoked by those who want to handle them. Even those inland taipans in labs and museums value being left alone.
Incredibly, there has never been a single recorded human fatality from inland taipan’s bite. That’s right, the most venomous snake in the world has never killed a human on record. That’s a simply incredible fact considering venomous snakes cause roughly 50,000 fatalities per year across the world.
There have been a few bites from inland taipans, but people bitten by the snakes recovered after receiving immediate treatment. Past bites resulted from mishandling taipans.
What’s the Diet of an Inland Taipan?
The diet of inland taipans mainly consists of rodents, birds, and other small animals. Inland taipans are strictly carnivores. They kill their prey nearly instantly by biting it rapidly several times, about eight venomous bites in a single attack.
The Inland Taipan is quite different from other snakes like black mamba, which only bites its prey once and waits for it to die. The prey doesn’t get the chance to fight back from an Inland Taipan’s bite.
11 Other Venomous Snakes that are Deadly
Inland Taipan is the most venomous snake in the world, but it’s not the only dangerous snake. There are over 600 venomous snakes whose venom can instantly take out prey. There are about two hundred of these snakes that are harmful to humans. While other snakes attack from a distance by spitting out venom at their victims, many of them bite humans even without any slight provocation.
Below is our list of 11 additional deadliest snakes in the world, along with some information regarding each species.
1. King Cobra
King cobras are one of the most venomous snakes in the world. They are found mainly in the forested areas of Asia. King Cobras grow to about 5.4 meters (18 feet) long (the largest ever was about 5.71 meters) and is regarded as one of the most aggressive and fierce snakes.
King cobras have impressive eyesight and can spot prey or a person 100 meters away, but they generally don’t attack humans unless provoked. The species normally tries its best to avoid confrontation with humans. Their diet mainly consists of mice, rats, and other snakes.
A king cobra’s venom is strong and can kill fast if left untreated. According to a study published in The Rosen Publishing Group, a dose of a king cobra’s venom is enough to kill 20 people or an elephant in half an hour. If a king cobra decides to deliver a whole load of venom on someone, the chance of survival are very low.
2. Black Mamba
The black mamba is regarded as the second-fastest snake in the world after the sidewinder. Black mambas are found in Africa and are 2 to 4 meters long (6 to 13 feet). They are also the second-longest venomous snakes as well. They vary in colors from yellowish-brown to olive.
Black mambas are well known for their extremely potent venom. The combination of their aggressive attitude, strong venom, and speed make them among the deadliest snakes in the world. Two drops of their toxins are enough to kill humans and bites left untreated have nearly a 100% fatality rate.
3. Coastal Taipan
Coastal taipans are highly venomous snakes found in the coastal regions of Eastern and Northern Australia. Their colors vary from olive to dark brown or dark gray to black. They have reddish eyes and are 1.5 to 2 meters long, with fangs that reach about 13mm.
A coastal taipan’s venom is a neurotoxin, meaning it produces an adverse effect on the nervous system. The venom paralyzes the diaphragm, lungs, and nerves of the heart leading to suffocation.
Coastal Taipans feed on warm-blooded animals, including rodents and birds. They don’t bite humans unless they are cornered.
4. Russell’s Viper
Russell’s viper is also among the most venomous snakes and is native to the Indian Subcontinent. It is only about 3.3 to 3.5 feet long. The Russell’s viper color varies from deep yellow to dark brown with yellow, pinkish, or white belly.
Russell’s Viper venom is very toxic. They are often responsible for most snakebite deaths in India because they are normally found in the farmlands where rodents and human contact is high. Their diets consist of rodents, scorpions, crabs, other reptiles, and arthropods within their reach.
5. Puff Adder
The puff adder is among the deadliest snake species found in the savannah and grasslands of Africa and Morocco. It has a stout body and is about 3 feet long on average but can grow up to 6 feet (1.9 meters).
Their venom is fatal if the victim doesn’t receive proper treatment; the adder’s venom causes severe inflammations and destruction of cells. However, the chances of dying from a puff adder bite are quite minimal if properly treated. and many recorded deaths occur as a result of poor medical treatment in addition to some secondary infections.
The fer-de-lance, also known as the barba amarilla or the common lancehead, is also among the deadliest snakes in southern Mexico and northern South America. It is about 1.2 to 2 meters long (4 to 6 feet). The fer-de-lances have a small sensory pit between each nostril and eye, distinguishing them from other snake species.
Fer-de-lance venom hinders blood clotting. A victim may die of hemorrhages if not treated on time. This particular snake is aggressive and won’t hesitate to bite if provoked. It’s responsible for several deaths in Mexico and South America annually. In fact, it’s known as the deadliest reptile in the Americas.
7. Boomslang Brown
A boomslang brown is a highly venomous snake found in sub-Saharan Africa. It is 3 to 5 feet long and weighs about 0.4 to 1.1 pounds. Their females are brown, while males have green scales with blue or black edges.
The boomslang brown has deadly venom that is highly hemotoxic. Meaning it affects the blood-clotting process from taking place, causing internal and external bleeding. It is possible to survive a boomslang bite if attended to on time and administered appropriate medications.
8. Banded Krait
Banded kraits are a venomous species of snake found in southern China, Southeast Asia, and India. They are up to 2.7 meters long (9 feet) with colors that range from black to dark-bluish-black with yellow crossbands.
A Banded krait’s venom is highly toxic. It contains neurotoxins that affect the nervous system. The victim first exhibits abdominal pains, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, and collapse. A banded krait’s bites require urgent and proper treatment as they can be fatal.
9. Tiger Snake
Tiger snakes are also among the most venomous snakes found in Australia. They are approximately 1.2 to 1.6 meters long, though some can go up to 2 meters. They weigh about 0.8 to 2.9 pounds. Their body colors vary from gray-brown to black.
A tiger snake’s venom is extremely potent as it contains high levels of neurotoxins, myotoxins, hemolysins, and coagulants. Tiger snake bites are often considered emergency cases requiring appropriate treatment within 12 hours.
10. The Gaboon Viper
A Gaboon viper is among the deadly snakes found in West Africa. It grows 4 to 6 feet long and weighs around 20 to 25 pounds. Its coloration varies from pink and purple to light and dark brown.
The Gaboon viper is highly venomous. It’s one of the deadliest snakes that produces large amounts of venom. Its bite can be fatal if the patient does not receive immediate and appropriate treatment.
Gaboon vipers are passive hunters. They eat small or medium-sized mammals and birds. Gaboon vipers are mainly carnivores. They rarely bite unless they feel threatened.
11. The Saw-Scaled Viper
The saw-scaled viper snake is another venomous snake that inhabits the dry savannas and arid regions. It is around 0.3-0.9 meters in length. Its coloration varies from orange to gray to brown with darker lateral spots.
Saw-scaled vipers are highly venomous, and a single bite can easily kill a human. They deposit 12 mg of venom into a victim in a single bite, and only 5 mg of this venom is enough to kill someone. The poison affects the blood coagulation process leading to excessive internal bleeding. In fact, it’s estimated saw-scaled viper bites account for more than 5,000 human fatalities per year.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Ken Griffiths
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