Top 10 Most Venomous Snakes

Top 10 most venomous snakes

5. Eastern Brown Snake

Pseudonaja textilis

Eastern Brown Snake eating an Eastern Blue tongue

Certain deaths with one bite: Rats 6950 Humans 4

Avg. Venom per bite: 10mg
Mice LD50: 0,036mg/kg
Estimated Human LD50: 2,52mg

A native of Australia, the snake also known as the Common Brown Snake can grow up to 6 feet (2m) in length. These snakes are known for having the 2nd most powerful venom of all land snakes, right after the Inland Taipan. Fortunately the Eastern Brown snake usually flees from humans, though it can get aggressive if provoked or if the snake feels trapped. In search for rodents, this snake is attracted to farms and rural areas; these places are where most of the reported bites in humans come from. These bites usually end with the victim’s death after just a few hours.

Its venom consists mostly of powerful neurotoxins and blood coagulants. The bite results in progressive paralysis and blood clot formation. The victims usually experience shock, followed by coma and finally, death.

4. Common Death Adder

Acanthophis antarcticus

Common Death Adder

Certain deaths with one bite: Rats 7600 Humans 4

Avg. Venom per bite: 152mg
Mice LD50: 0,5mg/kg
Estimated Human LD50: 35mg

The Death Adder is another of Australia’s native snakes. They are relatively small — up to 3 feet (1m) — but their fangs are among the biggest when compared to its body size. The Death Adder is an aggressive snake and will not flee from humans; instead they will remain immovable and imperceptibly blended under foliage, sand or debris until someone or something passes nearby. The snake uses its odd worm like tail to attract small birds, lizards or small mammals; they twitch their tail rapidly like a grub until the prey approaches close enough, at which point they are doomed; the Adder strike rarely misses its target.

The venom is quite strong and the volume injected is considerably high for the snake’s size; it is largely neurotoxic and postsynaptic and as such acts rapidly. Paralysis of essential respiratory muscles is again the main cause of death.

3. Tiger Snake

Notechis scutatus

Tiger Snake Notechis scutatus

Certain deaths with one bite: Rats 13333 Humans 8

Avg. Venom per bite: 112mg
Mice LD50: 0,21mg/kg
Estimated Human LD50: 14,7mg

Can you guess where this one comes from? You got it right; the Tiger Snake happily roams around Southern Australia and Tasmania. These snake can differ broadly in their appearance but they usually have stripes resembling those of a Tiger (hence the name) and they can reach a length of up to 6 feet (2m). These snakes are not naturally aggressive toward humans; they tend to announce their presence and attempt to flee.

The Tiger Snake possesses a powerful cocktail of drugs. The venom is among the most powerful; it is simultaneously Hemotoxic, Neurotoxic and Myotoxic. Death usually arrives with diaphragmatic paralysis and consequent asphyxia.

2. Common Krait

Bungarus caeruleus

Common krait Bungarus caeruleus

Certain deaths with one bite: Rats 18750 Humans 11

Avg. Venom per bite: 30mg
Mice LD50: 0,04mg/kg
Estimated Human LD50: 2,8mg

Kraits come in many different flavors, there are 12 species in total and all of them are extremely deadly. The Common Krait with an average length of 3 feet (1m) is just one of these species; it can be found in the low scrub jungles of the Indian sub-continent. They prey on other snakes and can even turn cannibalistic. They are not aggressive toward humans even when provoked, they prefer to coil and hide their heads for protection. The bites are usually a result of close encounters in inhabited areas; sometimes these snakes chose to make human habitation their own.

The Krait venom is a neurotoxic cocktail that is both strong and deceiving. The bite affected zone if often painless which can lead to a false judgment of the seriousness of the situation. As in other neurotoxic venoms, the cause of death is suffocation from respiratory failure, usually 6 to 12 hours after the bite.

1. Inland Taipan

Oxyuranus microlepidotus

Inland Taipan

Certain deaths with one bite: Rats 77000 Humans 44

Avg. Venom per bite: 77mg
Mice LD50: 0,025mg/kg
Estimated Human LD50: 1,75mg

The Inland Taipan, another one on Australia’s big bad snake’s repertoire. This one however, has a special spot on this list as it is regarded as the most venomous snake in the World — the one with the biggest killing potential. Sure there are other marine snakes whose poison is even stronger when compared drop by drop, however, their venom volume is far from enough to consider them life threatening.

The Inland Taipan is one of the 3 known species of Taipans, the other being the Coastal Taipan and the Central Ranges Taipan. The latter two could easily occupy 2nd and 3rd position on this list as they are more venomous than the Common Krait, but for the sake of diversity and since they belong to the same genus I chose to include only the worst of them all, the Inland Taipan.

The Inland Taipan can reach up to 8 feet (2.5m) in length. It is also known as the Small Scalled Snake as well as the Fierce Snake — Fierce referring not to the temperament of the snake but to its venom lethality. Its venom is also a neurotoxic cocktail and like all other snake neurotoxins will mess up with the nervous system and cause paralysis, ultimately ending in asphyxia. One of the neurotoxic agents in the venom cocktail is taipoxin, currently the most lethal neurotoxin of all known snakes. For the same volume, pure taipoxin is 15 times more deadly than the natural venom of the Inland Taipan.

Fortunately there isn’t a single human death attributed to this snake, in part because they live far from inhabited zones and also because of the specific antivenin effectiveness.

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