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The World's Deadliest, Most Dangerous Snakes to Humans

Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan

#10: Inland Taipan

Although the inland taipan (also known as "the fierce snake") is the #1 most toxic land snake on earth, it is rated tenth on this list because very few humans have been killed by it due to a lack of contact. This snake is found in the remote, harsh outback of Australia where few people live.

Another reason it is last on this list is because it's a shy snake. It's not aggressive and bites only if provoked. Although it uses its lethal venom to kill rats and rodents (its food), it is very happy to stay away from large animals and humans.

Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin

Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin

#9: Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin

This snake is found in most parts of southeastern U.S., from south Missouri to south-central Oklahoma and central Texas. It prefers lowland swamps, lakes, rivers, bayheads, sloughs, irrigation ditches, and small, clear rocky streams. It is more dangerous to humans than the Taipan as it shares our habitat. Many people in America get bitten by this snake and some even die as its venom is highly toxic.

It is called "cottonmouth" because it has a white mouth and "water moccasin" because it lives near water. It is a very aggressive snake.

Common European Adder

Common European Adder

#8: Common European Adder

This is the most dangerous snake in Europe. These are true vipers and found throughout Europe, even in Britain. Common adders are known to have short tempers and may strike without warning when startled or handled.

The common adder prefers wooded terrain, grassy fields, and rocky cliff slopes. Known to frequent farms and cultivated fields, this snake presents a great danger to people.

Puff Adder

Puff Adder

#7: Puff Adder

Also known as Bitis arietans, the puff adder's habitat extends throughout Africa except for dense rainforests and deserts. It has large fangs and its venom is powerful enough to kill a grown man with a single bite. Puff adders rely on camouflage for protection and lie still if approached. Because of this, people tend to step on them and get bitten. Many fatalities occur because bites are not treated correctly, leading to infection and gangrene. This snake kills more people in Africa than any other snake, but in my opinion, it is not the deadliest snake of Africa.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

#6: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

This is the most dangerous snake of North America. Commonly found in southeastern U.S. in lower coastal plains, southeastern North Carolina to the Florida Keys, southwestern Mississippi and in eastern Louisiana. These stout-bodied pit vipers generally live in the dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats.

It is an aggressive snake and can strike from a distance of up to one-third their body length. Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans.

King Cobra

King Cobra

#5: King Cobra

These are the most feared snakes of Asia. Just its appearance would make me shiver. They are the longest toxic snake in the world and produce the most venom (about two teaspoons in a single bite).

They live in most dense jungles of Southeast Asia and eat other snakes —even other cobras. A male snake has been seen to kill and eat a female snake when the mating partner changes. The female cobra is the only snake in the world to build and guard a nest for eggs. She instinctively moves away when the baby cobras hatch, as she is a snake-eater by nature, and so are her young.

The cobra shares the same habitat with humans and kills many humans in Asia. It is also very aggressive and would stand its ground and come towards you, if provoked.



#4: Fer-de-Lance

The fer-de-lance (also known as Bothrops asper) is the most dangerous snake of Central and South America. It is found in the tropical forests where it lives along ditches and swamps and amongst vegetation. Humans frequently come into contact with them.

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These toxic snakes kill more people than any other snake in the Americas. People accidentally step over them and get bitten, and the bite is fatal if not treated with antivenom. A very aggressive snake.

Brown Snake

Brown Snake

#3: Australian Brown Snake

These are the most dangerous and deadly snakes of Australia. They are the world's second most toxic snakes on land (after the inland taipan) but in contrast to the Taipan, they are very aggressive. They share human habitat so come in contact with them often and kill more humans in Australia than any other snake.

These snakes are found in eastern Australia, but not in Tasmania. They feed on small creatures such as mice, rats, small birds, lizards, and even other snakes.

See the Brown Snake's Aggression

Russel's Viper

Russel's Viper

#2: Russel's Viper

These snakes (also known Daboia) kill more humans than any other snake on the planet. They share human habitat and, therefore, end up in our homes (where most people get bitten). Once bitten, a victim experiences a wide variety of symptoms including pain, swelling, vomiting, dizziness, blood incoagubility, and kidney failure.

They blend into the surroundings so easily that most victims walk right over them. They are common throughout Southeast Asia and people mistake them for non-venomous pythons due to their appearance. This is one more reason why Russel's Vipers are so dangerous. They are also extremely aggressive and nervy.

Watch the Russel's Viper's Warning Behavior

Black Mamba

Black Mamba

#1: Black Mamba

This is the most dangerous and deadly snake in the world. Black mambas live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa. They are Africa’s longest venomous snake, reaching up to 14 feet.

Black mambas are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and, when threatened, highly aggressive. They cause many human fatalities, but not the most. The mortality rate is 100% without antivenom. Even with antivenom, the mortality rate is 50%, as most humans are allergic to the antivenom.

They are also the fastest snake on earth. Combine speed, aggression, toxicity, and unpredictability, and you have a black mamba. Most snake experts fear this snake more than any other snake. It's extremely hard to handle, and many handlers have died. They are so aggressive: They bite repeatedly and keep injecting their lethal venom with every bite.

I would stay clear of this snake. Then again, I'd steer clear of any of the toxic snakes on this list. The safest thing is to avoid confrontation.

Watch the Black Mamba in Action


Charles Carlisle on February 16, 2015:

I live on a river in Alabama and investigate Airplane accidents in Alabama and Florida. Cotton Mouths are all over the place and they are not afraid of anything. They do bite a lot of people because we also like to live around lakes. They don't run! They will definately stand their ground. They have even swam into crowds of people swimming and they will try to get into a boat with you! The Eastern Diamondback is a much longer snake but will avoid contact if given a chance. They are nervous are more likely to bite if provoked! Both can be treated with anti venom!

thales on January 24, 2015:

How can you not put the snake responsible for the most deaths annualy on the list? the worst snake is saw-scaled viper. it is common throughout both africa, middle east and down throughout India.

And also... the king cobra kills very few people every year... but the common cobra kills a lot. the cottonmouth is not that dangerous. And the common adder is not very toxic as you said, and very very few people have died compared to the ammount of bites...

The common adder is NOT the most dangerous snake in Europe. The sandviper is. So this list is flawed beyond belief and has no value whatsoever... sorry on February 01, 2014:

The inland taipan, though widely considered to have the most toxic venom, has not yet killed a human being in the wild and should be removed from the list. The Indian Cobra kill thousands every year.

Ghost32 on February 05, 2013:

Excellent rundown. I would question the rating of the eastern diamondback as the deadliest North American snake. It's true they are the largest of the rattlers and therefore pack a lot of venom, but the Mojave green rattlesnake--though smaller--has a cobra style venom that goes after (among other things) the respiration system. Some individuals have been found with BOTH venom types coexisting in the same bite, i.e., the neurotoxic cobra type and the flesh-attacking diamondback type.

The Mojave's range is not nearly as large as that of the eastern diamondback yet, but they appear to have been expanding their range every year. We have them here in southeastern Arizona, and they've gone from being one of three rattler species we'd see during snake season to being the ONLY rattler species we've seen for the last two years.

Michael on September 07, 2012:

Not sure about the common adder being the short tempered and dangerous snake you make it out to be. They are very timid snakes and will only bite as a very last resort. Even then bites are rarely fatal. Interesting post though :) Definitely wouldn't like to be on the wrong end of a black mamba I've seen them hunting, cold and precise, makes the hair stand on the back of your neck.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on August 02, 2012:

Any snake can get into any house. :-). Thank you for reading.

H### on July 31, 2012:

Awesome! I love snakes but I'm still scared of them. When I learned that the russels viper can get into our houses I totally freaked out!

L***** on January 05, 2012:

I can't help it. I look at the black mamba and think of the movie "Kill Bill" where all of the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad ("D-VAS" LOL!) were named after snakes with their leader Bill being the "Snake Charmer" and the main character being the "Black Mamba".

Anyway, these are very interesting.

Also, anyone here know of a snake that could kill an incredibly strong full-grown man in 10 seconds and climb a bell-rope?

Nehal on December 22, 2011:

Does python eat human beings?

Mike on November 23, 2011:

The British adder has only killed 12 people in it's history and it's bite is like a bee sting will only hurt you if you have a reaction to it or you are a child or an old person. Not sure about the 7 th place, rest is good thou..

ashu hind joshi on October 06, 2011:

oh god their beauty(poison) can end my dereams....

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on March 11, 2011:

Thank you seeker7. Glad you liked the hub. :-)

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on March 11, 2011:

Great hub - I do find snakes very interesting animals and this hub has great information.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on January 20, 2011:

The snakes think we are horrible too udeme. Thanks :-))

udeme on January 18, 2011:

wow horibbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

hi on November 01, 2010:

wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww omg

Jordan on October 03, 2010:

OMG somebody that knows that the black mamba is the most dangerous because most people think it's the fierce snake when it's not.thanks forspreading the word.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on May 08, 2010:

You are most welcome Elizabeth, thank you :-)

Elizabeth on May 07, 2010:

Hi im from Kenya and thanks for informing us since we seldom get into contact with them but its good to have the knowledge so we can be carfull whenever we get into there teritories\ environments

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on March 25, 2010:

Good day greatbarrierreef. Thank you for the good comments. It's a pleasure to make hubs for such readers.

Thans once again. Cheers!

greatbarrierreef on March 24, 2010:

G'day Cleanclover, What Dr Gareth Evans is saying is correct but it is not a Bitis sp although i am not familiar with this Genus the snake above as in the "Common Adder" is definitely without doubt an Australian Death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) we have 3 different species here in Australia that being acanthophis pyrrhus, from central australia,acanthophis praelongus and of course the one you have on your page antarcticus, you have put a lot of time and effort into this hub and it is very well researched and presented keep up the good work Cleanclover.

Thanks again.

Dr Gareth Evans on February 22, 2010:

I think you need to check your facts on the "Common Adder" - it is very seldom fatal (I've been bitten twice) and the picture you show is most CERTAINLY not Vipera berus - it looks more like a Bitis sp. with that heavy body and broad head. Our Adder is a very different beast - much thinner and more streamlined. The most deadly Viper in Europe btw, probably the Nose-horn (Vipera ammodytes)- absent from the UK.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on February 06, 2010:

Thank you ConstructionHero, did you really eat snakes? Hmm that's interesting

ConstructionHero from Washington on February 05, 2010:

When I was a kid, we used to capture and eat rattlesnakes. You have to be very cautious and respectful around venemous snakes. I have friends in Australia that had a Taipan in their house. It is a very fast snake, but was just in a hurry to get out of their way. It came in a window and out the door. I really enjoyed this hub.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on January 06, 2010:

well it's you who have invaded his territory kimsworld and not him.

Thank you for the comments.

kimsworld on January 06, 2010:

I don't like snakes.I went to my storage shed a couple months ago and a rattlesnake was coiled up on one of the boxes that had Christmas decorations in it. How dare him!


Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on December 28, 2009:

yes scary aren't they? Thank you divacratus

Kalpana Iyer from India on December 28, 2009:

Interesting. Terrified of snakes and some of these pictures did manage to scare me!

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on November 30, 2009:

Yes indeed. Thank you

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on November 30, 2009:

WOW! Scary! Very good hub.

Cleanclover (author) from Piece of land! on November 29, 2009:

Thank you Carmen Borthwick

Carmen Borthwick from Maple Ridge, B.C. on November 29, 2009:

Very interesting and informative hub.

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