They’re legless, elongated, and cold-blooded. Unless you’ve already read the title, you probably assumed that we were going to rant about aliens.
Even though aliens may be interesting, this article is going to be about ophidians that are closely related to lizards, snakes. Some of us are horror-stricken by these carnivorous creatures, whereas others are fascinated by them and even keep them as pets.
Disclaimer: We are not going to trash talk this animal or demonize it in any way. On the contrary, the snake bite statistics in this article exist to expand your knowledge on the subject matter.
So, without further ado, we present to you some of the most shocking, yet engrossing, serpent statistics and facts we could find.
Top 10 Statistics on Snakes and Snake Bites
- There are about 700 unique species of snakes that are venomous.
- There is a nine times higher chance that you will die from being struck by lightning than from being bitten by a venomous snake.
- An interesting fact about snakes is that around 7000-8000 Americans are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States each year.
- According to statistics for North Carolina, there were 92 people bitten by venomous snakes in May 2019.
- The death rate from snake bites in India is 1.28 per 100,000 individuals.
- There are around 1 million snake bite incidents in sub-Saharan Africa every year.
- Venomous snake facts reveal that around 60% of all bites on the African continent are caused by vipers.
- There are approximately 3,000 snake bites in Australia every year.
- Full-grown copperheads eat 10-12 meals annually.
- Black mambas can reach a slithering speed of up to 12mph, making them faster than most humans.
Must-Know Venomous Serpent Stats and Facts
1. Which snake kills the most humans per year? Although only 1 out of 10 untreated victims dies from its venom, the saw-scaled viper kills the most people.
However, this information about snakes is not entirely accurate, as there is no way of knowing for sure whether the saw-scaled viper (Echis sp.) or the Asian cobra (Naja sp.) kills the most people yearly. Based on the results of a study, underreporting is common, and there could be around 1.8 million envenomations globally per year and approximately 94,000 deaths.
2. Facts about snakes reveal that the reticulated python is the longest snake in the world, growing up to 30 feet in length.
Since this creature belongs to the Pythonidae family, it is non-venomous. So, how do they kill their prey? Well, they do this by squeezing and suffocating the victim to death. Also, there are certain species of pythons that are dangerous to humans due to their size and power.
3. The deadliest creatures in the world are mosquitos, not snakes, contributing to the death of 750,000 humans as of 2018.
According to facts about venomous snakes from 2018, the deadliest creatures are mosquitos, followed by humans (causing 437,000 human deaths yearly), snakes (100,000), and dogs (35,000). The main reason why mosquitos take the top spot is due to their ability to transmit various deadly diseases, such as malaria.
4. There are about 700 unique species of snakes that are venomous.
However, about 250 of these venomous species will kill a human being with just one bite. Fortunately, scientists have developed anti-venom, which consists of antibodies.
According to interesting facts about snake bites, the antibodies are typically derived from a host animal, like a horse or sheep.
5. There is a nine times higher chance that you will die from being struck by lightning than from being bitten by a venomous snake.
According to fatality statistics in the United States, there are 162,460 fatalities due to lung cancer, whereas there are 37,594 due to car or motorcycle accidents in the United States.
Now, compare these figures with 5-6 fatalities in the United States due to snake bites. Snake bite death statistics reveal that you are more likely to be bitten by a venomous spider or die from a wasp or bee sting.
Snake Bites in America Stats
6. Around 7000-8000 Americans are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States each year.
However, according to data derived from the CDC, only five snake bite victims in the United States pass away each year. Snakes found in the United States that are venomous include copperheads, coral snakes, cottonmouths, and different types of rattlesnakes.
The most typical victims of venomous snakes in the U.S. are foresters, roofers, construction workers, and farmers.
7. Snake bite statistics by state reveal that the number one state with the highest number of snake bites is North Carolina.
According to sources, the reason for the high instances of snake bites in North Carolina is the significant presence of these creatures, as well as the increasing number of people who move into the region.
An excellent tip to avoid being bitten by a snake is to make sure your private landscape is trimmed, and that any trash piles and woodpiles are removed. Furthermore, deforestation pushes wild animals into urban areas, resulting in increased contact with people.
8. According to snake bite statistics for North Carolina, there were 92 people bitten by venomous snakes in May 2019.
North Carolina Poison Control revealed that the average for that month between 2014-2018 was 85. According to Dr. Charles Gerardo, individuals who get bitten by a snake should act fast and resist cutting the bite or trying to suck out the poison.
Furthermore, snakebite victims should avoid using tourniquets and icing the bite. Instead, they should seek out professional medical treatment as quickly as possible.
9. The state with the most snake bites, North Carolina, is home to six species of venomous snakes.
These six species of snakes include the cottonmouth, copperhead, pigmy rattlesnake, eastern coral snake, eastern diamond rattlesnake, and timber rattlesnake.
Furthermore, there are an additional 31 species of snakes that are non-venomous in North Carolina. According to experts, the most dangerous one in the state is the copperhead, as it can be found in many locations.
10. Texas snake bite statistics reveal that around 1-2 people in Texas pass away every year from venomous snake bites.
(Texas Health and Human Services)
According to experts, there are two species of venomous snakes residing in the Lone Star State. The first type is the pit viper, and this includes the cottonmouth, rattlesnake, and copperhead. The second type of snakes is the coral snake – and interestingly, the Texas coral snake is the sole member of the elapids group that is located in the Lone Star State.
The most common symptoms of venomous snake bites include dizziness, fever, thirst, tissue death, blurred vision, and increased salivation.
11. According to CDC snake bite statistics, permanent injury and disability occur in between 10-44% of victims of rattlesnake bites.
It is estimated that globally, snake bites cause permanent disabilities in around 400,000 people. In fact, the burden of snakebite disability and death is equal to that of cervical or prostate cancer. Snake envenoming can cause blindness, neuromuscular paralysis, intracranial hemorrhage, and the loss of smell.
Global Stats on Snake Bites
12. What country has the most deaths from snake bites? The death rate from snake bites in India is 1.28 per 100,000 individuals.
Without any doubt, the country with the most deaths from snake bites is India, with 15,000 people passing away every year, and 81,000 envenomings every year. The second country is Indonesia (11,581 deaths), while the third is Nigeria (9,900). Pakistan (8,264) and Bangladesh (8,000) also make it on the list.
13. Snake bite statistics for India from 2018 show that almost 97% of deaths from snake bites happen in rural areas.
According to experts, the main reasons for the high mortality range in the rural areas of India are the victim’s delayed arrival (or non-arrival) at health centers and the shortage of anti-venom medication.
Furthermore, experts claim that snakebite victims should not wait more than six hours after the bite to seek out medical help.
14. Snake bite statistics for India from 2017 show that approximately 90% of all snake bite deaths in the country are from one of the “big four” species of venomous serpents.
These are the common krait, the Indian cobra, Russell’s viper, and the saw-scaled viper. Unfortunately, there are many instances of under-reporting of venomous serpent bites in India, as not a lot of victims reach healthcare professionals.
15. There are around 1 million snake bites in sub-Saharan Africa every year.
Snake bite statistics in Africa reveal that this results in about 500,000 envenomations, 25,000 tragic deaths, and around 25,000 permanent disabilities. As mentioned, snake bites on the continent are most frequent in sub-Saharan countries. They usually happen during rainy seasons, as this is when the snakes become more active.
16. Around 60% of all bites on the African continent are caused by vipers.
Furthermore, the venomous snake facts reveal that the snake responsible for the most fatalities overall in Africa is the puff adder, even though the saw-scaled viper inflicts a larger number of bites in the countries of North Africa.
Above all, the species of snakes that is responsible for the highest mortality rate on the African continent, but also the planet, is the black mamba. This species inhabits Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Angola, and Namibia, among other sub-Saharan countries.
17. What is the most dangerous snake in the world? The answer is the inland taipan.
(Wayback Machine) (Atlas of Living Australia) (Billabong Sanctuary)
According to researchers, the inland taipan’s venom is the most toxic snake venom in the world; including sea snakes. In fact, it is estimated that a single bite from the inland taipan can kill at least 100 adult men. The inland taipan inhabits north-eastern South Australia and south-western Queensland.
18. There are approximately 3,000 serpent bites in Australia every year.
Snake bite statistics for Australia reveal that there are approximately 550 hospitalizations and 2 deaths per annum in the Land Down Under. So, how can you avoid serpent bites in Australia?
Firstly, wear protective clothing such as thick boots and jeans to protect yourself from bites. Secondly, if you spot a snake, do not provoke it. Stats reveal that nearly 1 in 5 snakebites occur when a person provokes the animal.
Thirdly, let the snake know you are there by stomping your feet and making noise, in general. This will let the animal know that a human is nearby.
Copperhead Snake Facts
19. Copperheads are the only species of snakes with markings in an hourglass shape.
Copperhead snakes are pit vipers, much like water moccasins and rattlesnakes. Pit viper snakes have pits between their eyes and nostrils on each side of their head, which they use to sense heat. This helps them strike their prey in the most accurate way possible.
20. Full-grown copperheads eat 10-12 meals per year.
According to experts, when copperheads attack larger prey, they start by biting the target, and then they release it. After the venom has worked, the copperhead snake tracks down the prey.
Viper Snake Facts
21. There are four main types of vipers.
The four main types of vipers are the Fea’s viper, the night adder, the pit viper, and the true (or pitless) viper. The most primitive among the bunch is the Fea’s viper; it has characteristic short fangs, shorter than those of various other subfamilies.
22. The average lifespan of a viper is 12-16 years.
However, keep in mind that a viper in captivity can live longer than a viper in nature. Another interesting fact about vipers is that they give live birth, so the eggs are incubated in the female viper’s body.
Interesting Facts About rattlesnakes
23. The rattle sound of a rattlesnake is a very effective warning sign.
According to experts, the rattles are pieces of keratin that are found at the end of a rattlesnake’s tail. When threatened, or when preparing for an attack, the keratin pieces knock against each other, creating the distinctive buzzing sound.
24. Female rattlesnakes can store spermatic fluid for months before the eggs are fertilized, according to facts about rattlesnakes.
However, this is not an oddity exclusive to rattlesnakes, as other species of snakes can store spermatic fluid up to six months following the mating process. According to experts, the female snake uses specific cells in the body to secrete proteins and sugars that preserve the sperm.
Furthermore, experts believe that when a snake knows food is available, it will give birth to more than one clutch of eggs after mating.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Facts
25. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake only attacks humans when scared and defensive.
Even though some snakes may bite a human or a larger animal for food, in most cases, it is just an act of self-defense when frightened and threatened. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes can strike the victim at up to a shocking one-third of their body length.
26. They live in dry areas ranging from North Carolina to west Louisiana.
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is considered the largest dangerous snake in whole North America. They are typically found in sandy woodlands, pine flatwoods, as well as coastal scrub habitats.
Coral Snake Facts
27. It can be difficult to tell a coral snake’s tail from its head.
Coral snakes are unique types of snakes because they use their typical appearance (they are almost neckless, they have round noses, and they are colorful) to fool attackers. It can be said that coral snakes believe it is always better to lose a tail than a head.
28. Other non-venomous snakes disguise themselves as the coral snake by having similar patterns on the body.
According to amazing coral snakes facts, this deadly snake is not only known for its bright colors, but also for its highly effective venom. According to experts, the shovel-nosed snake and the scarlet king snake look very similar to the coral snake, but both are non-venomous.
Sara Vernum, a herpetologist from Wisconsin, claims there is a rough way to estimate which type of snake is venomous and which is not. Just remember that red and yellow can kill you, whereas the red and black combination is not dangerous. Of course, do not completely rely on this, as there are exceptions.
Texas Rat Snake Facts
29. Texas rat snakes are non-venomous snakes that frequently imitate the “rattle” of a rattlesnake.
Texas rat snakes are typically found in swampy areas, forests, and grasslands, but they can also be spotted in urban areas like Houston and Fort Worth. They can be aggressive and will usually defend themselves by biting, striking, or smearing the attacker with an unpleasant smelling odor from their cloaca.
30. Snake facts and information reveal that the Texas rat snake is also called the chicken snake.
This species is known for being capable of climbing trees with ease, as well as swimming in water in search of potential prey. The Texas rat snake likes hanging around hen houses hunting rats and other rodents, but they also like snacking on chicks and chicken eggs.
Facts on the Inland Taipan
31. The Inland taipan is also known as “the fierce snake.”
According to inland taipan facts, this species of extremely venomous snakes belong to the elapid group of snakes. Interestingly, this snake is only found in Australia and nowhere else in the world. The reason why it’s called fierce is because of its potent venom capable of killing 250.000 mice and 100 adult men.
32. Without anti-venom, a human will likely die 30 minutes after the attack by an inland taipan.
Snakes in Australia facts reveal that the inland taipan is a terrestrial animal, which means that it is adapted to the life on the ground level. Humans may get bitten by this snake if it is threatened or accidentally stepped on. According to sources, it is known to bite up to eight times in a single attack.
Facts on the Black Mamba
33. Black mambas are actually brown, not black.
Mamba snake facts reveal that this species got its name from the blackish-blue hue of the inner portion of their mouths. When threatened, or when it is ready to attack, the black mamba displays the inside of its mouth. This species is known for being nervous, fast, and highly venomous, contributing to numerous deaths all around the world.
34. Black mambas can reach a slithering speed of up to 12 mph, making them faster than most humans.
Venomous snake facts reveal that one of the reasons why the black mamba, Africa’s longest snake, is feared, is because of its rapid speed, which can reach an average of 7 mph over long distances. Moreover, the myths exaggerate its capabilities, claiming it can outrun even horses.
Pet Ownership Statistics
35. Pet statistics in America reveal that 555 in 1,000 households own snakes as pets.
The most popular snake breeds kept as pets include ball pythons, king snakes, milk snakes, boa constrictors, and corn snakes. These snakes are popular among pet owners due to their low maintenance requirements and docile temperaments.
36. In Florida, cobra snake facts reveal that you can own a king cobra as a pet if you have an annual permit.
Even though the majority of states in America do not allow pet ownership of venomous serpents, in some states, you can have a pet cobra if you obtain an annual permit. To receive approval, the owner must demonstrate that the animal is housed securely and that state regulations about traveling and inspection are respected.
37. Snake bite facts reveal that there are over 100,000 instances of snakes biting cats and dogs each year.
Furthermore, it is estimated that the mortality rate in pets following a snakebite is between 1-30%, depending on the size of the companion, the type of the snake, and the location of the bite. The number one thing that pet owners must do following a snake attack is contact and visit the veterinarian as quickly as possible.
38. The chances of a pet recovering from a snake bite if treated early is 80%.
Death by snake bite statistics reveal that the pets who are left untreated after a snake bite will most likely pass away, whereas if treated early, some will recover within 48 hours.
Keep in mind that if the veterinarian’s office is far away, you should apply a pressure bandage around the site of the bite to slow the venom from spreading to the animal’s heart, and then rush to get professional help.
How does snake venom work?
Before answering this question, it is important to realize what venom is; it is a combo of enzymes, molecular substances, and proteins venomous snakes use to immobilize and debilitate prey. As a result, the venom is able to disrupt nerve impulses and destroy cells in the body.
Venom breaks down tissues and cells, and it leads to internal bleeding, paralysis, and even death of the victim.
What does the number of rattles on a rattlesnake mean?
A clever way to determine how old a rattlesnake could be is by counting the rattles. Typically, you can assume that the animal added 2-3 rattles for every year of its life. The rattlesnake’s first rattle is formed when the animal is around two weeks old.
However, there are some cases of rattlesnakes losing the rings on the rattle. Keep in mind that there are around 30 different types of rattlesnakes in the world.
How to identify a copperhead snake?
There are a couple of ways you can identify a copperhead snake, but the simplest one is by taking a look at the pattern on their skin. A typical copperhead has darker spots on its back that are hourglass-shaped.
Furthermore, this type of snake has cat-like eyes and a head shaped like a diamond. Also, younger copperheads have a vibrant green tail. Copperhead snakes are non-venomous and beneficial, as they prey on rodents that can contribute to home destruction, such as rats and mice.
How to tell if a snake is poisonous?
Even though it is impossible to be certain whether a snake is venomous or not by just looking at it, there are two myths people believe in.
Myth 1: Venomous serpents have triangular heads.
Truth: 99% of snakes have triangular heads.
Myth 2: Venomous serpents have a pattern.
Truth: Snakes such as corn snakes, milk snakes, and garter snakes are non-venomous, and they still have a pattern.
All in all, it is important to understand that the majority of snakes do not attack humans due to aggression but rather due to feeling threatened or provoked.
Hopefully, these snake bite statistics illustrated the importance of watching out when working in tall grass, hiking in the forest, or even handling a snake, as many are capable of delivering fatal bites.
Stay safe, and if you encounter a snake, leave it alone!
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Billabong Sanctuary
- Mackessy 2010
- Mackessy 2010
- Texas Health and Human Services
- UF Wildlife
- Wayback Machine