Snakes are considered one of the scariest creatures in the animal kingdom, and rightfully so. It has been reported that there are roughly 5.5 million snakebites annually. Of those, 1.8 million are envenomings which lead to over 90,000 deaths. We can thank many of these snakes for those deaths.
The King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake. It is predominantly found in India and other parts of Southeast Asia. The King Cobra’s venom’s toxins attack the victim’s central nervous system resulting in pain, vertigo and eventually paralysis. It has been reported that death can occur as short as 30 minutes without the antivenin. The toxin is so deadly, it could even kill a large elephant.
The Saw-Scaled Viper kills more people than any other snake each year. Although it only grows to 1-3 feet long, its venomous bite can do lots of damage. Their venom contains hemotoxins and cytotoxins, which leads to multiple bleeding disorders including the possibility of an intracranial hemorrhage. Many of these snakes are found in areas where modern medicine is not found. Therefore, victims sometimes suffer a long, painful death.
The Black Mamba is found in the savannas and rocky areas in southern and eastern Africa. It can grow up to 14 feet long and can slither up to 12.5 mph, making it the fastest snake in all the planet. Although it only attacks when it is provoked, when it does attack beware. The Black Mamba will bite several times, delivering enough toxins to kill 10 people. There is a antivenin but it must be received within 20 minutes.
The sub-Saharan African Boomslang, may look cool. However, do not touch! The average adult boomslang is 100–160 cm (3¼–5¼ feet) in length, with extremely large eyes. The boomslang has a highly potent venom that it can deliver through fangs at the back of its jaw. The snake is able to open its jaws 170° when biting. The venom is mainly made of a hemotoxin which disables the coagulation process in a person’s body. Signs and symptoms of a bite may not show until hours after.
Tiger Snakes are found in the southern regions of Australia and some of its costal islands. It gets in name from its color, as it is often banded like a tiger. A tiger snake’s venom contains many potent toxins. Once bitten a person will experience, at first, localized pain followed by breathing difficulties and finally paralysis. Studies show that untreated bites have a mortality rate of 40-60%.