Dangerous Snakes in Asia – 5 Deadliest

These are the 5 most dangerous snakes in Asia! With venomous bites & lethal attacks, these venomous snakes inject some of the worst venom in the world.

5: The Indian Cobra

It goes by many names: the Indian cobra, the Asian cobra, the Spectacled cobra, or the Binocellate cobra to name a few. Whatever you decide to call it, this snake is one of THE most dangerous snakes in Asia. Growing up to about 4 feet in length, the Indian Cobra is known for the spectacle pattern on its hood, which expands to a large size when they feel threatened. In addition to living in India, they also populate parts of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. These cobras will take up shelter anywhere they can. They often prefer the forest, though they HAVE been known to make their homes in densely populated urban areas as well. These snakes are protected by the Indian government under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. The Indian Cobra is one of the “big four”, a group of four snake species that account for the majority of human attacks in Asia. Their venom has the capacity to paralyze muscles and in more serious instances, cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Furthermore, their venom contains enzymes that break down the body’s cells and tissue, leading the venom to spread at a much quicker rate than normal. Some estimates suggest that Indian Cobras are responsible for as many as 10,000 deaths per year. Experts argue, however, that as few as 7% of the bites are fatal if medical treatment is sought quickly enough. Their proclivity for residing near humans is part of what makes them so dangerous. For example, one such place they’re found are in rice patties. As such, many of the Indian cobra attacks on humans occur in these rice fields. Additionally, they are commonly used by snake charmers. Snake charmers like to use their flutes to make the snakes appear to dance. However, cobras are deaf, but they use the movement of the pipe and the vibrations from the ground (as the charmers will tap the ground) in order to move in sync with their masters. Indian Cobras hold a special place in Hindu culture. They are considered by many to be a powerful deity. Shiva, a Hindu god, is often depicted with having one of these cobras around His neck. They are also worshipped during the Hindu festival, Nag Panchami.

4: Russell’s Viper

This snake also goes by the names Daboia, scissors viper, seven pacer, or the chain viper. It is most commonly known as Russell’s viper as an homage to the famed herpetologist, Patrick Russell, who studied the snakes extensively during the 18th century. Due to their aggressive behavior and wide-ranging distribution, Russell’s vipers are considered to be among the deadliest in Asia. They’re one of the most dangerous snakes in Asia due to the fact that they account for a relatively high number of snakebites and deaths each year. While they are found in a wide array of habitats, such as grassy plains, bushy areas, and coastal lowlands, they also frequent densely populated urban areas, which is one of the reasons why they’re so dangerous. Additionally, they behave very aggressively if they feel threatened or provoked. When threatened, Russell’s vipers form a series of loops with their body, raising the upper portion into a striking position. They will then emit a hiss that is believed to the loudest in the world. Once they attack, they can catapult themselves towards their intended target, landing a bite that is either quick or one in which they can dig their fangs in and latch on for a few moments. The venom from Russell’s vipers are potentially lethal in large quantities and if medical treatment is not sought. Once a person is bit, they will experience intense pain on the spot of the bite. Soon after, swelling of that area will occur. A bite victim will oftentimes bleed from their gums and sometimes during urination. The blood pressure and heart rate will also drop soon after the bite. Other possible symptoms include facial swelling, blood clots, blood vomiting, and in severe cases that go untreated, kidney failure. Even if a victim survives the initial bite, kidney and respiratory failure may still occur up to two weeks later. Beyond all of the painful and sometime deadly symptoms, a bite from a Russell’s viper can severely damage the pituitary glands. This causes the body to quit producing hormones and results in massive hair and weight loss. About 29% of all victims who survive the initial bite experience this damage to their pituitary glands. Although an antivenom may be used by doctors to help prevent fatalities, thousands of people STILL die every year from Russell’s vipers.

3: The Saw-Scaled Viper

The saw-scaled viper—whose scientific name is Echis, or Greek for viper—refers to five different species of vipers. They are one of the “big four” most dangerous snakes in Asia and account for a large number of annual snakebites and snake-related deaths. Although these vipers do not grow to even two feet in length, the largest typically reach almost 3 ft. long. They’re well-known for their distinctive display of threat. When in attack mode, saw-scaled vipers form c-coils with their bodies and proceed to rub their scales together to create a menacing “sizzling” sound. This is known as stridulation, a practice largely associated woth insects and some reptiles, including this breed of snake. As the viper feels more threatened and becomes more and more agitated, the rubbing becomes faster and the sizzling noises get louder. This is the moment when they might bite. A saw-scaled viper bite is known for its extreme quickness and accuracy when striking. Given that they often live in close proximity to humans and that they’re quick to attack when agitated or threatened, they are one of the most dangerous of the “big four.” If a person were to be bit by one of these vipers, they would initially experience swelling and pain in the are of the bite. Additionally, they will experience severe bleeding as a result. Symptoms such as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, vomiting blood, blood stained mucus, urinating blood, nosebleeds, low amounts of urine, and hypovolemic shock occur. While it is estimated that close to 20% of Saw-scaled viper bites are fatal, the availability of antivenom significantly increases one’s chances of survival.

2: The Common Krait

Also a member of the “big four” most dangerous snakes in Asia, the common krait also goes by either the Indian krait or the blue krait. Residing in India, they prefer to feed off other snakes, including other kraits! A large common krait will grow up to 5 feet, 9 inches long. Like many snakes, they are nocturnal creatures, opting to hide and to keep to themselves during the day while preferring to hunt at night. As such, they are far more likely to become agitated in the darkness. When threatened, common kraits coil up and flatten their bodies. Once they bite, they tend to hold on to their victim in an attempt to inject as much venoms as possible. The bite is oftentimes not painful at first. This is very dangerous due to the fact that victims initially exhibit very few symptoms. Their venom, however, contains a powerful neurotoxin that affects the brain. Symptoms that then proceed are a tightening of the facial muscles and temporary blindness and deafness if the bite is not treated within a few hours, with death due to suffocation as an eventual result.

1: The Reticulated Python

Populating the Southeastern region of Asia, the reticulated python holds the distinction as being the longest snake in the world. An adult male will grow up to 21 feet long and weighing up to 163 pounds. They are the only snakes on this list that is not one of the “big four.” Living in rainforests, grasslands, and woodlands, reticulated pythons often dwell near water. They’ve even been known to be good swimmers and will sometimes make their homes on small islands in Asia. Their diet consists of a wide array of mammals such as dogs, rats, pigs, and even primates. As nonvenomous snakes, they kill their prey by constricting them to death. Given their size and strength, reticulated pythons are very capable of killing humans, with several recorded incidents throughout history. In the early 20th century, for example, it was reported that a young boy and a grown woman were both eaten by a python. Also in the early 20th century, a Burmese man was out hunting with his friends when he took shelter from the rain beneath a tree. He was caught by a snake who was in the tree, suffocated to death, and as legend has it, was consumed feet first. In 1932, American writer and animal collector Frank Buck reported an incident involving a young boy in the Philippines. According to Buck, the python was found with the shape of the boy’s corpse inside its body. More recently, a woman from Virginia Beach was killed by her pet python in 2009. Though the python did not attempt to eat her, the python was found coiled up in the bedroom in an apparently agitated state.


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