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How to Identify 5 of the World's Deadliest Snakes

If you're ever in a region that is home to one of the world's five deadliest snakes, you'll want to know what to look for to avoid a potentially fatal mishap.


  • Step 1: Look for the notorious black mamba, which, in spite of its name, is never actually black. The black mamba ranges from gray to dark brown in color with black spotting and grows to between 6 1/2 to over 8 feet long. Found in Africa, the snake derives its name from the black color inside its mouth.
  • Step 2: Beware of the common krait. Found mostly in southeast Asia, the common krait is blue-black to gray in color with yellow to white bands around its body. Typically just over 3 feet in length, these snakes have short fangs and must chew on their prey to inject venom.
  • FACT: The fierce snake has the most potent venom of any snake in the world.
  • TIP: The red-bellied black snake can give birth to up to 40 live snakes at one time.
  • Step 3: Watch out for the red-bellied black snake, which is black on top, but, as its name suggests, has a red belly. It can be found on the east coast of Australia and can get to 7 feet in length.
  • TIP: Fierce snakes can be found in the uninhabited parts of central Australia and can grow to 8 feet in length.
  • Step 4: Recognize the eastern, or common, brown snake by its tan through dark brown, orange, or black color. Its belly is cream-colored with pink or orange splotches, and it has faint black bands around it. The second most venomous land snake, they hold their necks high when agitated, and can be found throughout most of Australia.
  • Step 5: Identify the fierce snake, also known as an inland taipan, by its dark-brown to light-tan coloring, having a mustard-yellow belly. It has a glossy black head and faint, dark spots or bands toward the tail end. While likely the most poisonous snake, they are docile unless cornered or threatened.

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