List of Top 10 Deadliest Snakes in the World

There are few animals scarier or deadlier than snakes on the planet. Snakes account for the second-most animal-to-human fatalities every year. Read on to learn about the 10 deadliest snakes in the world.
List of Top 10 Deadliest Snakes in the World
List of Top 10 Deadliest Snakes in the World

Snakes are one of the most feared creatures on the planet. These limbless, cold-blooded carnivores strike terror into the hearts of anyone who comes across them. It doesn’t matter if they are venomous or not; the first sign of a snake makes people anxious. And there’s a good reason behind such behaviour.

Snakes have been the subject of misconceptions and mythical tales since time immemorial. Some cultures even worship snakes. Many mythical serpents like dragons, the Echidna and the basilisk have been inspired by snakes.

It’s rare for snakes to attack humans without provocation, and they are more scared of us than we are of them. Yet they feature the second-highest human kill count for any animal. However, some snakes are more deadly and aggressive than others. Read on to learn about the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world, from black mambas to king cobras.

List of the Top 10 Most Deadliest Snakes In The World

Snakes are less common in the northern hemisphere and are mainly found in deserts. India, Australia, and North Africa are home to most of the world’s dangerous and venomous snakes. Let’s find out more about the deadliest snakes on the planet, their size, kill count, and location.

10. Black Mamba

Black Mamba

Source: Wildest

The black mamba is found in southern and eastern areas of Africa and is one of the longest and fastest snakes in the world. Black mambas can grow up to 14 feet in length and slither at speeds of 12.5 miles per hour. Their large size, combined with their agility, makes them lethal predators.

Black mambas have light grey or brown coloured skin, but get their name from the dark colour of the inside of their mouths. The black mamba’s venom is neurotoxic in nature and works extremely quickly. An infected individual experiences intense pain at first and passes into a coma within an hour. You’ll be dead from the black mamba’s venom within 6 hours without an antidote.

9. Boomslang


Source: Britannica Kids

Boomslang is a large, extremely venomous snake found throughout the African continent, but mainly in southern countries like South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The snake is known for its distinctive look, featuring large eyes, bright-coloured bodies, and an egg-shaped head. Boomslang males are generally green with blue or black scale edges, while females are often brown.

The boomslang snake doesn’t spray its venom and instead chews on the prey till it succumbs. The boomslang venom is a hemotoxin that destroys red blood cells and causes serious internal and external bleeding from every orifice of the body until death.

Another lethal attribute of the boomslang is that it only needs to inject the victim with a small dose of venom, and the symptoms often show up when it’s too late.

8. Fer-de-Lance


Source: istock

Fer-de-Lance is the most dangerous snake in South America. Mostly found in forests, the Fer-de-Lance is around 4–7 feet long and is known to be highly aggressive. Fer-de-Lance has a spear-shaped head and a long, brown-coloured body with diamond-shaped spots. Fer-de-Lance venom has anti-coagulation properties and causes death from a brain haemorrhage. Its venom takes effect within minutes and often results in severe necrosis, turning body tissue black.

7. Russell’s Viper

Russell's Viper

Source: iNaturalist

Russell’s viper is an indigenous snake of the Indian subcontinent and one of the big four snakes in India. It causes thousands of deaths every year. The Russell’s viper has a round, thick body with a short tail and a length of around 4 to 6 feet.

The Russell’s viper is able to camouflage due to its black and brown colour and often attacks farmers while hiding in fields. Its venom is highly potent, making it one of the deadliest vipers on the planet. The Russell's viper’s venom has the ability to kill 22 humans in a single bite. The venom causes acute bleeding, defibrination, haemorrhage, shock, and renal failure within a couple of hours of a snake bite.

6. Eastern Tiger Snake

Eastern Tiger Snake

Source: iStock

The eastern tiger snake is native to southeast Australia and looks similar to a tiger with its yellow and black scales. It has one of the most lethal venoms among all snakes and can cause poisoning in just 15 minutes after a bite. The eastern tiger snake venom acts like a neurotoxin and causes excruciating pain, tingling, numbness, and later breathing difficulties and paralysis.

Related: Top 10 Deadliest Fish in the World

5. Saw-scaled viper

Saw-scaled viper

Source: wikimedia commons

The saw-scaled viper is the deadliest snake in terms of the kill count. Scientists estimate that it’s responsible for more human fatalities than all other snake species combined. The saw-scaled viper is found in regions of Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. They are one of the scariest and most aggressive snakes and are known for their distinctive threat display of producing a sharp sizzling sound by rubbing their bodies. Saw-scaled vipers are small in size and only inject little quantity of venom in a bite, but can kill a human within hours.

4. Banded Krait

Banded Krait

Source: wikimedia commons

Banded krait is one of the most recognisable snakes in the world, and due to its distinct appearance (black with yellow stripes) it often attacks during the night. The banded krait is long, and slow during the day and is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and southern China. The banded krait has an extremely deadly venom that paralyses the respiratory muscles, preventing the diaphragm from moving, and resulting in death by suffocation.

3. King Cobra

King Cobra

Source: a-z animals

King Cobra is the snake that comes to mind when one thinks of the creature. Native to South Asia, the king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world. The king cobra’s bite is so potent that it can slay an elephant within a few hours. It can grow up to 18 feet in length and lift its head many feet off the ground when provoked. A single king cobra bite can kill a human in 15 minutes, and the snake is known for biting several times in quick succession, injecting around 7 millilitres of venom. King Cobra is one of the few creatures in the animal kingdom that eat their own kind.

2. Coastal Taipan

coastal taipan

Source: qfc

The coastal taipan is another deadly snake found in the Australian outback and is known for its incredible speed. The coastal taipan bites its victim several times before it can even react. It ranges from light olive to dark brown in colour but has reddish eyes. The coastal taipan has a long, slender body.

1. Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan

Source: Moneycontrol

The inland taipan is the deadliest and most venomous snake in the world. Found in Australia, the inland taipan is dark tan with dark-edged scales. It has the most toxic venom of all snakes. The inland taipan’s venom has the potency to kill 100 humans in a single bite. The venom’s effects begin showing up within a few minutes after the bite and can kill the victim in less than an hour. The inland taipan is not an aggressive snake and stays wary of humans, but attacks with astonishing speed when provoked.





Black Mamba

Sub-Saharan and Southern Africa



Sub-Saharan Africa



South America


Russell’s Viper

India, south east Asia


Eastern Tiger Snake



Saw-scaled viper

Indian subcontinent


Banded Krait

South Asia


King Cobra

India, south Asia


Coastal Taipan



Inland Taipan


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Which is the deadliest snake in the world?

The inland taipan is the most deadly snake in the world. It is found predominantly in Australia and has one of the most potent venom among all snakes. The inland taipan is aggressive only when provoked but its venom is lethal and fast-acting, making it tough to survive a bite from this snake.

Which snake has the highest kill count?

The saw-scaled viper, found in India mainly is the deadliest snake in terms of fatalities. It has killed more people than all other snake species combined.

Which is the most venomous snake on the planet?

The inland taipan is the most venomous snake in the world. Its venom is so toxic that it can kill 100 adult humans in just a single bite.
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