I didn’t need to watch Snakes on a Plane to know I need to avoid venomous snakes! Living in the UK, it’s actually not much of a problem; the countryside is hardly overrun by snakes. Snakes probably do get a bad rap. They have an amazing variety of patterns and colors (think – don’t all kids love to draw and color snakes?) and live in all sorts o habitats. Personally, snakes have never bothered me, but I still appreciate the need to avoid the ones that present a risk; especially these venomous snakes:
The rattlesnake is probably the most courteous of the venomous snakes on this list. You at least get a small rattle when you get too close. If the rattlesnake bites, it can quickly lead to degenerating organs and paralysis. Even with anti-venom, the chances of survival still aren’t 100%.
The Death Adder hunts and kills other snakes, including some of the ones you’ll find on this list. That’s more than enough to explain why you need to be careful when walking around New Guinea and Australia. What makes it one of the deadliest snakes is the fact it can strike and get back to a position to strike again in 0.13 seconds. Untreated bites will result in death within six hours.
The Philippine Cobra has the most powerful venom in the world. To make this entry into the list of the most dangerous snakes more terrifying, it can spit its venom from up to three meters away. The venom directly attacks cardiac and respiratory functions. It can be treated, but many bite victims believe they’re fine initially because of the small amount of tissue damage.
Another of the world’s most venomous snakes has its home in Australia. The Tiger snake, known for its black and orange stripes, has an extremely potent type of venom. In some cases, victims have been known to die from a Tiger Snake bite within about 30 minutes. Most of the time, it takes about six to 24 hours. The current fatality rate is 70%, and this is regardless of whether you happen to be carrying an antidote with you. Thankfully, the Tiger Snake will usually only attack when backed into a corner.
The Black Mamba is the fastest land snake in the world and can reach speeds of up to 20 kilometers an hour. It’s aggressive to practically all predators and prey, and can strike up to 12 times in a row. It also has the highest mortality rate for bites that aren’t treated immediately (about 100%). You’ll find it throughout the African continent. As one of the deadliest snakes, it takes pride in the fact that a single bite has enough venom to kill up to 25 healthy adults.
The Eastern Brown Snake doesn’t sound particularly interesting, but you’ll soon change your mind when you learn 1/14,000 of an ounce of its venom will kill an adult human. Even young snakes are capable of killing humans. What makes it one of the most dangerous snakes is the fact it likes to live within the major cities of Australia. Aggressors have been known to turn into prey as the snake chases them. It’s one of the fastest land snakes around and reacts to any movement. On the bright side, it doesn’t like to bite and only about half of its bites actually contain venom.
The Inland Taipan boasts the most toxic venom in the world and could potentially kill about 100 humans, or 250,000 mice. To put it in perspective, it’s 50 times more venomous than your average cobra. Whilst it’s not the deadliest snake in the world (that honor goes to the Belcher’s Sea Snake), it could kill an adult human within 45 minutes. Despite having the most toxic venom, this doesn’t make it the most dangerous. It’s rarely encountered in the wild and it isn’t particularly aggressive. When confronted, it prefers to flee. As a result of its relatively docile nature and its inability to spread across a large land area, humans rarely encounter it and there have been no recorded fatalities from an Inland Taipan.
You know how at the beginning I said that snakes didn’t particularly bother me? I may just have to rethink that. I’m so glad to have never met any of these venomous snakes on my travels. How to you feel about snakes?
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