Curious about the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world? It’s no wonder, with over 3,600 species of snakes in the world. Still, with so many snakes slithering around, you may be surprised to learn that only a small portion of those snakes are considered medically dangerous to humans. That said, North America is home to 21 dangerously venomous snakes, with at least one venomous snake being actively present in every state except for Hawaii and Antarctica.
Freaked out yet? Try not to be.
Snakes are incredibly beneficial, and venomous snake bites are not nearly as fatal these days as they used to be thanks to modern medicine and the use of antivenom. That said, it’s still wise to educate ourselves on how to recognize venomous snakes so we know what to do if we ever run into one.
But which venomous snakes are most dangerous to us? Where do these venomous snakes live? And, perhaps most importantly, what would happen to you if you were to get bitten by one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world?
Let’s find out!
The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World – What You Should Know About Venomous Snakes
Venomous snakes play an important role in our ecosystem.
Before we discuss the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, let’s go over a few things you should know about venomous snakes in general.
Though many people have a fear (which is perhaps well-founded) of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, it’s important to remember that snakes are beneficial reptiles and are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Snakes help keep pest populations under control, eating insects, rodents, amphibians, and even other reptiles like smaller snakes and lizards.
Most snakes are not deadly, and even snakes that are deadly often prefer not to bite and usually only do so when provoked or threatened.
But what is a venomous snake?
A venomous snake, (not to be confused with a poisonous snake, which is only harmful to humans if consumed), is a snake that injects venom into its prey by way of fangs. The venom these snakes have is used for hunting, protection, and sometimes to help them digest their meals, as snakes can’t chew and thus swallow their prey whole.
Even though only a small fraction of snakes are deadly to humans, it’s always wise to be cautious when dealing with any snake you do not recognize.
And while there are a few physical features that can help you identify some of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world from non-venomous snakes, it’s usually quite dangerous for a people to rely on the physical appearance of a snake to determine how deadly it is.
Let’s learn why below.
Venomous Vs Non Venomous – Identifying The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World
Many venomous snakes have cat-like pupils, like this image above.
Identifying a venomous snake from a non-venomous snake can be difficult, with some experts even claiming it is downright impossible. So, how will you ever know if you encounter one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world?
There are a few things you can look for to help determine the danger of a snake. But before we jump into that short list, we should note that the coral snake, a species of venomous snake indicative to the United States, does not have any of the below features and therefore cannot be identified as poisonous based on them.
However, you can tell a coral snake is venomous from it’s infamous colors – black, yellow, and red. Unfortunately, the coral snake closely resembles another red, black, and yellow snake known as the scarlet king snake, which is completely harmless.
How do you tell the two apart? You may be familiar with this famous rhyme, which can help:
“Red touch yellow – kills a fellow. Red touch black – friend of Jack” (or one of the many other variations of this saying).
But aside from the coral snake, what are some other telltale signs that can help you recognize if you are dealing with one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world? Let’s take a look.
Most Venomous Snakes (But Not All Of Them) Have:
- Cat-Like Pupils
- A Triangular Head
- A Heat Sensor above their nostrils
Even with the above three indicators, it’s important to note not all of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world can be properly identified this way. In fact, keep in mind that non-venomous snakes will often attempt to mimic a venomous snake in order to protect itself.
This can include a non-venomous snake flattening its head so it looks triangular or shaking its tail to mimic a rattler. This is just one of many reasons why simply going off of visual identification to determine if you are dealing with one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world is not always reliable and could be dangerous.
The below video does a great (and also somewhat colorful) job of explaining how to further identify a venomous snake from a non-venomous snake.
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Now, let’s move on to the juicy information and talk about the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world.
What Are The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World?
While there are around 600 venomous snakes in the world and 200 venomous snakes considered “medically important” according to the World Health Organization, there are ten especially dangerous snakes you should know about.
These are the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world.
1. The Black Mamba
Despite his name, a Black Mamba is usually light or dark gray.
Length: 6 – 14 feet
Defining Features: Black Mambas are not actually black, but instead are a dark gray that ranges to light gray, brown and other hues.
Bite Symptoms: Unconsciousness, respiratory failure, cardiovascular collapse, and death that occurs in as little as 30 minutes but usually takes up to 7 to 15 hours after initial bite without treatment.
Overview: The Black Mamba is perhaps the number one deadliest snake out of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world. With a bite often leading to the death of an adult human in under 15 hours if not treated, this snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in existence, second only to the King Cobra. Black Mambas are native to sub-Saharan Africa, where they feed on smaller prey like rodents, birds, bushbabies, bats, and fledglings.
2. Western Green Mamba
The green mamba is the smallest in the mamba snake family
Length: 6 – 7 feet
Defining Features: Green Mambas are long, thin, and bright green with a yellow hue.
Region: Western Africa
Bite Symptoms: Unconsciousness, respiratory failure, cardiovascular collapse, and death that can occur rapidly without treatment.
Overview: The Western Green Mamba is one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, although it is the smallest in the Mamba species family. This green, highly venomous snake is not known to be aggressive to people, and recorded bites on humans are very low. However, green mamba bites are extremely dangerous and carry a high fatality rate if not treated.
3. Tiger Snake
Tiger snakes get their name from their uniquely patterned stripes.
Length: 3 – 5 feet
Defining Features: Named for their appearance, tiger snakes have thick bodies with gray, brown, or yellowish stripes. Their heads are flat and a bit larger than the rest of their body.
Origin: Southern Australia
Bite Symptoms: Gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, unconsciousness, seizures, paralysis, and death in as little as 30 minutes after the bite if left untreated.
Overview: The tiger snake is a highly venomous snake known to cause a number of human deaths in its native region of Southern Australia. These snakes sometimes appear cobra-like as they are able to flatten their bodies when threatened, and are easily identified by their uniquely stripped bodies.
4. Eastern Brown Snake
The eastern brown snake is rumored to be aggressive, although in truth he is reclusive and shy.
Length: 3 – 8 feet
Defining Features: While many Eastern brown snakes are completely brown, some have patterns or brown spots on their backs.
Region: Eastern Australia
Bite Symptoms: Severe pain, nausea, blurred vision, headache, collapse, paralysis, and often death if left untreated.
Overview: Eastern brown snakes are highly venomous snakes that are responsible for most deaths by snake bite in Australia. Greatly feared, the eastern brown snake is commonly thought to be aggressive to humans. However, the truth is that the eastern brown snake is shy and reclusive, and spends most of his days hidden. That said, if provoked, the eastern brown snake can bite without mercy and cause death in as little as 30 minutes.
5. The Common Death Adder
The common death adder is known for his thick body and flat, triangular head.
Length: 2.3 – 3.3 feet
Defining Features: Death Adders are known for their thick bodies, triangular heads, and colored patterns of black, brown and gray.
Bite Symptoms: Abdominal pain, headache, enlarged regional lymph nodes, paralysis of ocular muscles, and sometimes death within six hours if not treated.
Overview: The Common Death Adder is famous for having the longest fangs of a venomous snake in Australia. This thick, athletic snake is an ambush predator rumored to have one of the quickest strikes. However, Death Adder bites are rare on humans and not usually fatal, as this snake prefers not to inject their hard-to-produce venom unless necessary.
6. The King Cobra
King Cobras are the largest of the venomous snakes.
Length: 10 – 18 Feet
Defining Features: The King Cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world, reaching up to 18 feet in length. It has a thick body that is usually green, brown, yellow or black. It’s underside can be one color or be barred with different colors. The cobra is famous for its ability to flatten its head and produce “wings” when threatened or ready to strike.
Region: Southeast Asia
Bite Symptoms: Drowsiness, severe pain, dizziness, blurred vision, paralysis, cardiovascular collapse, respiratory failure, and often death if left untreated.
Overview: As mentioned above, the King Cobra is not only one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, but also the largest venomous snake in the world. It can live up to 20 years in captivity and can weigh up to 20 pounds. The King Cobra also has the amazing ability of being able to lift at least ⅓ of its body off the ground before striking.
7. Russell’s Viper
The Russell’s Viper is known for being one of the most dangerous snakes in Asia.
Length: 3.3 – 5.5 feet
Defining Features: The Russell’s Viper is typically beige, brown, or yellow with brown patterned spots in the shape of almonds running along its back. These markings are often encircled in black.
Bite Symptoms: Severe pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, loss of blood coagulability, weakness, kidney failure, and often death if not treated.
Overview: Considered to be one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, the Russell’s Viper is also one of the most dangerous venomous snakes in Asia. It’s symptoms range from swelling and pain to acute renal failure and death.
8. Malayan Krait
The Malayan Krait is often known as the Blue Krait or the Bungarus Candidus.
Length: 43 inches
Defining Features: The Malayan Krait, or Blue Krait, is typically blueish, black, or dark brown with dark bands beginning from his head to his tail.
Region: Southeast Asia
Bite Symptoms: Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, body weakness, respiratory distress, blurred vision, and possible death.
Overview: Often known as the Blue Krait or the Bungarus candidus, the Malayan Krait is another of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world and in Asia. It prefers living in forests, near water, along plantations, and other grassy regions rich in prey and shelter. Despite being so deadly, the Malayan Krait is a nocturnal and reclusive snake that is rarely spotted and hardly seen during the day.
9. Belcher’s Sea Snake
The Belcher’s sea snake is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, although bites on people are rare.
Length: 20 – 40 inches
Defining Features: The Belcher’s Sea Snake is a smaller to medium sized venomous snake with a yellow or tan body and dark brown or green crossbands going along its back.
Region: Near the Indian Ocean, New Guinea, Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia and the off Philipean coast.
Bite Symptoms: Pain, joint aches, blurred vision, swollen tongue, vomiting, muscle aches, paralysis, and death in as little as 30 minutes.
Overview: You don’t want to get bitten by a Belcher’s Sea Snake, that’s for sure. This slithering, swimming serpent has venom that is strong enough to kill 1,000 adults and can kill a grown man in as little as 30 minutes. Luckily, sea snake bites are extremely rare and they often don’t even inject humans with their venom.
10. Inland Taipan
The Inland Taipan snake can reach up to 8 feet in length.
Length: 5 – 8 feet
Defining Features: Inland Taipan are one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world whose color changes with the season. They are a dark brown in the winter and fade to gray in summer. Their bellies are usually a yellowish or light green hue.
Bite Symptoms: Headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, collapse, paralysis, and often death (sometimes in as little as 30 minutes) if left untreated.
Overview: Considered one of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, the Inland Taipan has a potent enough venom to collectively kill 100 humans. Luckily, this snake is shy and reclusive, and he will more often flee from confrontation than aggressively stand his ground.
How To Repel The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World
Repellents can help keep snakes out of your yard and away from your loved ones.
Luckily, not all of the above deadly snakes live in North America. Still, there are plenty of venomous snakes you don’t want hanging around your yard in the United States.
That said, remember that snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, are incredibly beneficial. So, instead of feeling compelled to harm or kill unidentified snakes that enter your property, the best method of action is to use repellents and other tools to avoid the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world altogether.
Wondering about some of the best snake repellent brands? We have listed a few of our favorites below.
Safer Brand Snake Shield
Snake Shield is specifically designed to repel venomous snakes like copperheads, but it will repel all kinds of snakes from entering onto your property. This product uses natural ingredients like clove oil, cedarwood oil, and cinnamon oil to help keep snakes away safely and naturally.
The product comes in long lasting granules that owners sprinkle around the perimeter of their yards and gardens to help keep snakes away.
Snake Defense Natural Snake Repellent
Another snake repellent you can use to protect you against any of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world is Snake Defense. This snake repellent is all natural and works against a number of venomous and non venomous snakes.
This product not only repels snakes using natural ingredients, but it also discourages them from nesting around your property or even foraging for food. You can use this along the perimeter of your home, in sheds, barns, gardens, and garages.
Ortho Snake B Gon
We like Ortho Snake B Gon as a snake repellent for some of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world because it uses safe, natural ingredients like essential oils that snakes hate to keep them from slithering onto your property.
The granules are weather resistant and long-lasting, working to keep venomous and non-venomous snakes away. This product is also safe to use around children and pets and on gardens and lawns.
Solar Powered Snake Repellent
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Solar powered repellents work on more than just moles, gophers, and voles. In fact, this solar powered snake repellent above works specifically to help repel snakes and can help keep some of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world away.
This is a safe, chemical-free snake repellent that uses sonic vibrations to deter snakes and other creatures from slithering (or digging) around in your lawn or garden. We also like that it is solar powered so you don’t need to use batteries.
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The last snake repellent we would recommend for helping to keep the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world away from your yard is Havahart Snake-A-Way. Again, it uses all natural, safe ingredients to repel snakes and keep them from coming onto your property.
Used along with a snake-proof fence, you should be able to protect yourself and your family from any slithering invader.
Home Remedies To Keep The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World Away From Your Home
Mother-in-Laws Tongue, also known as snake plant, repels snakes of all kinds.
Along with using some of the above repellents to help keep the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world away from your home and loved ones, you can also implement a few home remedies to keep these venomous serpents away.
We have listed some of our favorite home remedies below.
- Use Snake-Repellent Plants
Snakes are sensitive and can be repelled by a number of plants, including lemongrass, mother-in-laws-tongue, garlic, onions, and marigolds.
Please note that some plants that repel snakes can also be harmful to humans and pets, so do your research before planting unknown species of plants in your yard or garden.
- Garlic, Onions, And Rock Salt
If our list of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world freaked you out, don’t worry. There is a home-made snake repellent recipe you can use that requires ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
Simply dice some fresh onions and garlic and mix this with rock salt. The mixture will help keep out a number of snake species when sprinkled along the perimeter of your home every two to three days.
Tips On Preventing The Top 10 Deadliest Snakes In The World From Coming Into Your Yard
Installing a snake-proof fence will help keep snakes away.
- Install A Snake Proof Fence
Installing a snake-proof mesh fence around your home or property line is perhaps the most efficient and effective way to protect your home from not only the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, but from any snake period.
We highly recommend this option for those who live in an area rich with venomous snake activity. That said, make sure the fence you install is made of mesh that is smaller than ¼ of an inch, otherwise it will still allow baby snakes through.
- Limit The Snakes’ Food Sources
The most common thing to attract snakes to yards is usually a food source. Snakes feed on insects, lizards, rodents, and other pests.
A large number of pests in your yard can lead to a future snake problem if you’re not careful. The easiest way to prevent any kind of snake from coming near your property is to ensure you have limited their food source by using common pest control remedies and methods.
- Declutter And Clear Out Any Debris Around Your Yard and Property
Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles who seek shelter and warmth when the weather turns cold. Remove debris around your yard and home where snakes could potentially go to wait out the chillier months.
Reduce clutter and remove wood piles, dead shrubs, gardening tools, buckets, and more. Keep garden sheds and garages tidy and rake and remove dead leaves and fallen tree branches.
- Keep Up With Landscaping
All snakes, not just the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, like to hang out in covered areas where they feel they are less exposed. Keep your lawn mowed short and trim shrubs and bushes to help make your property less habitable to snakes. Also try and keep gardens tidy and from becoming overgrown.
And remember, while the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world may be frightening in context, they are also important creatures and play a vital role in the health of our environment. Along with a healthy respect, a safe distance, and a broader understanding of venomous snakes, we should be able to live alongside them in harmony.
Stay safe out there!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.