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Top 10 Deadliest Snakes Not To Mess With

Updated on March 9, 2016
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10. Reticulated Python

These massive reptiles inhabit most countries in the India and Vietnam region, and some of the islands and island chains of southeast Asia. This python-type holds the record for longest snake held in captivity, some reaching over 30 feet or 9 meters in length in the wild. Reticulated Pythons are excellent swimmers, often going far from shore if needed, but prefer to stay close to the water as it is their main hunting ground. They have been known to climb trees, though rarely, as they prefer to live on the ground. While not venomous and seldom using their bite to kill, these massive snakes will latch on to pray, then wrap their body around it, slowly constricting its victim to death. They've been known to eat monkeys, pigs, deer, and on occasion, humans. Though the breed is rather timid when kept as pets, we wouldn't want to run into this type of snake in the wild.

9. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Being the largest venomous snake in North America, reaching up to 8 feet or 2 meters in length, these Diamondback Rattlesnakes are normally seen between North Carolina and Florida, and west to Louisiana. When provoked, these snakes can be very aggressive and deadly. Their first attempt to ward off potential predators is to feverishly rattle their tails, and if that doesn't work, they will raise their anterior half off the ground in an S-shaped Coil. They can extend 1/3 of their length to strike and often more than once. If needed, they will stand their ground, but if given the opportunity, will retreat towards safety. Eastern Diamondbacks deliver large quantities of potent venom when they strike, which will cause intense internal pain, bleeding at the bite site, hypo-tension, and swelling, and a high risk of death. Left untreated, roughly 10%-20% of people will die to a single bite from this breed.

8. King Cobra

These cobras can reach 18 feet or 5 meters in length, and can stare you directly in the eyes when they raise 1/3 of their body off the ground in confrontation. They are the longest venomous snake in the world, residing in India, southern China, and Southeast Asia. They feast predominately on other snakes, and are the only known snake to build nests for their eggs, which they will guard viciously. When cornered or threatened, they become aggressive, and while their venom isn't the most potent, they can deliver enough neurotoxin to kill 20 people, or take down an elephant with ease. Although the King Cobra has brethren, like the Philippine cobra who can spit their venom up to 10 feet or 3 meters, or the Indian Cobra in South Asia, we found that the uniqueness of the King Cobra and potential menacing figure wins hands down.

7. Jararaca Fer-de-Lance

Also known as the Brazilian Pit Viper, the Jararacas can grow up to 4 feet or 1 meter in length and its geographic home includes Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina, and Northeastern Paraguay, which includes populated areas. Hunting during the night and hiding during the day, these snakes can deliver a venom package lethal enough to easily kill a human. Envenomation will cause necrosis, blistering, and bleeding of the skin, gums, and nose. These symptoms combined with others that it causes can lead to shock, renal failure, brain hemorrhage, and death. For its region of habitat, Jararacas will encounter humans regularly and are still responsible for most snakebites in the region.

6. Russell's Viper

This snake makes its home in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries such as Nepal, Thailand and Bangladesh, preferring the open country rather than densely forested areas. Russell's Viper snakes are primarily nocturnal and often found near human dwellings and farms in search of easy prey. Somewhat slow and sluggish, these snakes get aggressive when pushed beyond their tolerances, raising off the ground, hissing loudly as forewarning. If this snake does strike, it could hang on for a few seconds instead of snapping back quickly. They inject a fairly high amount of venom, that often causes blistering and swelling, vomiting, dizziness and bleeding from open orifices such as the gums. Those who survive a bite, a third of them, later in life, will suffer from failing pituitary glands. Russell's Viper snakes earn their rank in the "Big Four", which is a group of four venomous snakes that have caused the most human snakebite cases in South Asia.

5. Blue Krait

This snake is known by a variety of names, including the Common Krait, Indian Krait,or Malayan Krait, and is also part of the "Big Four". They are mainly found around India, from Pakistan to the West Bengal plains, and Sri Lanka. They prefer areas with close proximity to water, such as rice fields and dams. The Blue Krait isn't even blue, but instead has black and white bands alternating down the length of its body. It often uses the cover of night, and aren't even considered very aggressive, being more considered shy than anything else. So why has it made its place on our list, you ask? 50% of all bites resulting from the Blue Krait result in death, even with anti-venom. The venom it injects is neurotoxic, which attacks the nervous system and shuts it down, resulting most often in the victim going into a coma or dying from suffocation. Death usually results in an agonizing 12 to 24 hours from initial bite.

4. Eastern Brown Snake

Also known as the Australian Brown or Common Brown snake, they can be found inhabiting the eastern half of Australia, except Tasmania, and a few have been spotted in Eastern Papua New Guinea. These reptiles are diurnal, meaning they are most active in the day, then return to their burrows at night after hunting and scavenging. Eastern Brown snakes are extremely agile and fast, and because of their daytime excursions and habitats, including some of the most populated parts of Australia, are often encountered by humans. They are the 2nd most venomous snake in the world, but have shorter fangs than most other snake species, only reaching 3 millimeters in length, allowing them to only inject small amounts of venom into its prey. They are considered to be one of the deadliest snakes in Australia.

3. Saw Scaled Viper

Also apart of the Big Four group, the Saw Scaled Viper ranks number 3 on our list due to its irritable, aggressive nature, lethal venom, and commonality as its habitat is in close proximity to people. Primarily nocturnal, they can be seen late evenings in arid regions and dry savannas north of the equator, including Africa, Arabia, southwestern Asia to India, and also Sri Lanka. Normally slow, Saw Scaled Vipers can employ a side-winding maneuver for faster movement and as it moves, oblique scales rub against each other to produce a hissing sound to ward off predators. They are, however, quick to strike if disturbed, releasing a hemotoxic venom that destroys red blood cells, and causes tissue damage and organ failure. Mortality rates for those bitten are high, and although anti-venom is effective along with medical attention, the Saw Scaled Viper is believed to be responsible for more human deaths than all other snake species combined.

2. Coastal Taipan

While most would have the Inland Taipan on their lists due to its venom being more potent, we feel that the Coastal Taipan wins over both it's cousins, including the Papuan Taipan, due to its more aggressive nature when cornered. This snake can be found predominately on the island of New Guinea and along the coastal regions of northern and southern Australia, but have been known to go further inland where temperatures do not go below 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. Coastal Taipans are rated to have the 3rd most toxic venom in the world, only closely behind the Inland Taipan and the Eastern Brown, which contains a neurotoxin that paralyses the nerves of the heart, lungs and diaphragm, and also a powerful myotoxin, which destroys muscle tissue. When cornered or while hunting, this Taipan has been known to deliver several strikes before retreating.

1. Black Mamba

Making the top of our list, the Black Mamba is the fastest land snake in the world, reaching speeds of 12.5 miles or 20 kilometers per hour, and when combined with its lethal venom and nervous demeanor it could spell disaster for any unsuspecting prey. To top it off, they are highly aggressive when threatened and will strike multiple times in a short time-span, releasing a cocktail of neuro and cardio-toxin into the bloodstream. Contrary to what their name would suggest, Black Mambas actually range in color from olive to a grayish tone and get their name from the inside of their mouths, which is a deep, inky black. They are mostly observed residing in the rocky hills and savannas of southern and eastern Africa and can get to 14 feet or 4 meters in length. They like low, open spaces to sleep, which include burrows, hollow trees, rock crevices, or abandoned termite mounds. The bite from this snake was 100% lethal before the advancement of Black Mamba anti-venom, but can still kill within 20 minutes of its initial strike if not treated. Any snake that can cause so much fear, that the African people gave it the nickname "The Kiss of Death", deserves to be respected.

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