Animals
322 voters

The Scariest Types of Snakes in the World

Updated August 14, 2020 1.9k votes 322 voters 18.1k views10 items

List RulesVote up the most terrifying species of snake you hope to never encounter in the wild.

One of the most common fears people have is a healthy fear of snakes. We say "healthy" due to the fact that there are some species of snakes dangerous to humans, which require a certain amount of fear should you happen to have one slither across your path. Snake attacks aren't necessarily a common occurrence in most urban areas, but when one of the most dangerous snakes found on this list does strike, it can cause severe damage.

You may not realize it, but there are thousands of species of snakes and the scariest kinds could be lurking in your backyard right now—especially if you happen to be reading this in Australia, India, or pretty much anywhere. A good rule of thumb when dealing with the types of snakes to follow—which are any you don't know very well—is to avoid them.

It's healthy to be afraid of snakes simply due to the fact that many species can be deadly. Some are ugly while others have beautiful scale patterns, but all of them are predators. In most cases, they aren't eating people, but that doesn't mean they won't take a stab at you if you get too close. Snakes that attack humans can end up killing someone and, while most of them take care of our rodent problem, the worst types of snakes found on this list are those you should definitely be afraid of.

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  • 5

    Saw-Scaled Viper

    Size: Relatively small. Adults range from 1' to 3' (0.3 to 0.9 meters).

    Location: Dry regions and savannas north of the Equator. They can be found throughout Africa, the Middle East, and southwest Asia to India and Sri Lanka.

    Distinguishing Features: They have a pear-shaped head, vertically elliptical pupils, rough scales, and a short, thin tail.

    Why You Should Be Scared: They may look small and innocuous, but their bites make them one of the deadliest snakes in the world. Saw-Scaled Vipers live in densely populated areas, which place them in close proximity to people. Their mortality rate is around 20%, meaning one in five people die from their bites.

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  • 6

    Coral Snake

    Size: 3' to 5' (0.9 to 1.5 meters).

    Location: Most of North America.

    Distinguishing Features: Most species have a distinctive color pattern of bands along their bodies. Their red, black, and yellow bands are similar to a nonvenomous species of snake, which has given rise to the rhyme, "Red touches yellow, kill a fellow. Red touches black, friend of Jack."

    Why You Should Be Scared: Their venom is highly deadly, but they rarely bite humans. Coral Snakes are naturally reclusive so a bite usually occurs when a human is standing near one and doesn't realize it. When a bite does occur, they are almost always fatal, which has a lot to do with there being a shortage of their antivenom. If left untreated, a bite will almost always kill a full-size human in a matter of hours.

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  • 7

    Tiger Snake

    Size: 3' to 6' long (1 to 3 meters).

    Location: Southern regions of Australia and Tasmania.

    Distinguishing Features: There are numerous subspecies of Tiger Snakes, but they all possess bands of bright colors against a darker scale color. This distinctive feature has helped give them the name Tiger Snake.

    Why You Should Be Scared: Tiger Snake neurotoxins are incredibly deadly. If a bite is left untreated, it will result in death between 40% and 60% of the time. Tiger Snakes are somewhat rare, which has granted them protected status. Throughout most of Australia, it is illegal to kill or even injure one—making them something you just want to avoid at all costs.

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  • Size: 4' to 6' (1.2 to 1.8 meters).

    Location: Most of North and South America

    Distinguishing FeaturesTheir most notable feature is their distinctive rattle at the ends of their tales. When threatened or simply to let you know you are about to step on one, they shake it to create a rattling noise.

    Why You Should Be Scared: There are 36 known species of Rattlesnake and every one of them is dangerous. While their bites are rarely fatal due to treatment methods and anti-venom, they do cause severe injury to the site of the bite. Their venom is hematoxic, which causes tissue at the site of the bite to begin to rot due to a process called necrosis. This is the result of blood thickening and failing to properly oxygenate the tissue. Severe bites can result in the need for amputation of the limb where a bite occurred.

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