20 Reasons to Visit Australia – Snakes

Did you know that of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world, the top 11 are found in Australia? A total of 20 of the 25 most venomous snakes are found in Australia. Two are found in Asia, and 1 each in PNG, North America, and South America.

Snake tips: Freeze, and wait for it to go away. With the exception of the death adder, snakes are more scared of you than you are of them. Also, wear jeans. The fangs of the majority of Australian snakes are too delicate to bite through jeans.

Coastal Taipan

Names: Taipan

Recorded Deaths: unknown – almost always fatal without antivenom

Appearance: brown, and between 1.5m and 2m long. They have the longest fangs of any Australian snake (13cm).

Most Venomous Snakes in the World Ranking: 3rd

Location: Along the northern coastal areas.

Venom: Almost always fatal without treatment. The venom affects the nervous system and blood, causing nausea, convulsions, internal bleeding, destruction of the muscles, and kidney damage. Death can occur in as little as 30 minutes.

Antivenom: Since 1956.

Inland Taipan

Names: Taipan.

Recorded deaths: unknown

Appearance: brown-grey, and between 1.8m and 2.5m long.

Most Venomous Snakes in the World Ranking: 1st

Location: in cracks and crevices on dry, rocky plains – mostly in the border area where QLD, SA, NSW, and the NT meet.

Venom: The most toxic in the world (according to tests on rats). It is estimated that it would kill an adult within 45 minutes.

Antivenom: Yes.

Death Adder

Names: Death Adder

Recorded deaths: lots

Appearance: short and fat, not more than a metre long

Most Venomous Snake in the World Ranking: 8th

Location: all over. They aren’t scared of humans and will sit in the path until touched.

Venom: Contains and neurotoxin which causes a loss of motor and sensory function (including breathing), resulting in paralysis. ½ of all bites were fatal before the antivenom was introduced.

Antivenom: Yes.

Brown snake

Names: Brown Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Common Brown Snake

Recorded deaths: lots

Appearance: brown, and usually between 1.5m and 2.3m.

Most Venemous Snake in the World Ranking: 2nd

Location: populated areas, particularly farms or anywhere with mice.

Venom: causes death to humans very quickly if untreated. It causes progressive paralysis and stops blood from clotting. Victims can collapse within a few minutes.

Antivenom: yes, but it takes multiple doses to reverse a brown snake bite.

Tiger snake

Names: tiget snake

Recorded deaths: lots; second-highest number of bites in Australia

Appearance: striped, 1.5m long

Most Venomous Snake in the World Ranking: 6th

Location: farms and outer suburban houses, or anywhere with mice.

Venom: fatal if untreated. It causes pain in the neck and feet, tingling, numbness and sweating, followed by breathing difficulties and paralysis. The tiger snake also damages blood and muscles, which can lead to renal failure.

Antivenom: yes.

Mulga snake

Names: Mulga, King Brown, Pilbara cobra

Recorded deaths: yes

Appearance: brown, 2.5m to 3m long.

Most Venomous Snake in the World Ranking: 20th

Location: most of Australia, except eastern and southern coastal regions.

Venom: output is the highest of any snake in the world, injecting up to 150mg at once. They bite savagely, hanging on and chewing as they inject the venom. It destroys blood cells and affects muscles and nerves.

Antivenom: yes; black snake antivenom should be used.

Black Snake

Names: Black snake, Red-Belly Black, common black snake

Recorded deaths: unknown

Appearance: black, with a red belly. 2m long.

Most Venomous Snake in the World Ranking: 21st

Location: eastern and south-eastern coastal areas, very common in urban areas

Venom: causes muscle and nerve damage.

Antivenom: yes, although tiger snake antivenom can be used at a lower dosage with fewer side effects


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