Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

World’s Most Aggressive Snake: Black Mamba vs Saw-Scaled Viper

The most aggressive snake on the planet is the Black Mamba. It is also one of the most fearsome because of its size, venom, and speed.

The Black Mamba is highly feared. It is tenacious, fearless, and will fight back if provoked or triggered. it is also known for defending its territory, which means it is a territorial snake, especially during the breeding season.

World’s Most Aggressive Snake

However, the snake that takes the most lives per year is the saw-scaled viper. While it’s less aggressive than the Black Mamba, its frequent contact with humans means it kills more humans per year.

Black Mamba

Saw-Scaled Viper

Runners-Up: Other Aggressive Snakes

The exact number of people bitten by snakes per year is not known. There are an estimated 5.4 million snake bites per year, but only 2.7 million of these are venomous. About 81,000 to 138,000 people die each year of snake bites.

There is no clear consensus list of snakes that are the most aggressive. The reason being is that some snakes rarely come into contact with humans, especially those that live in rainforests.

The list below is based on venom power. Also, these are only for aggressive land snakes, not water snakes.

  • Inland Taipan – can grow up to 5.9 feet. It feeds mostly on mammals and is aggressive towards humans. The taipan resides in Australia and Asia, and it is one of the deadliest snakes in the world.
  • Eastern Brown Snake – grows to about 6.6 feet and is found in Australia and New Guinea. They are active in the day they have killed 23 people between 2000 and 2016.
  • Philippine Cobra – small compared to other cobras, as it can grow only to 3.3 feet. It is on the world’s list of near threatened snakes. Symptoms from its bite appear in 30 minutes. It can spit venom to victims who can cause permanent blindness.
  • Russell’s Viper – grows up to four feet and is commonly found in Asia. Its main diet is mice, and this is why it encounters humans many times. It is estimated that it kills 10,000 people in India every year.

Finally, one of the most dangerous is the Black Mamba. It can grow up to 14 feet, and it will strike not just once but repeatedly. Its bite can kill a human being in less than 20 minutes. It takes only two drops of a Black Mamba’s venom to kill a human being.

See Also: What do black snakes symbolize?

Which Snakes Kill the most Humans?

The saw-scaled snake is believed to kill the most humans. Scientists estimate that this snake killed the most number of human beings in the history of snake bites. But it is not as aggressive as the Black Mamba.

Its venom is also not as potent as other snakes. The bites from the saw-scaled viper kill only about 10% of the victims. The presumption is that the saw-scaled viper bites at least 5000 people per year.

This snake is found in India and can grow up to 3 feet. They can live up to 20 years, and they primarily feed on mice.

However, only pythons and anacondas can actually eat humans.

Are all Snakes Aggressive?

No, not all snakes are aggressive. Generally, snakes do not like human encounters. There are studies showing that some snakes, even vipers, generally do not respond to human stimuli and will not chase humans.

However, one should not mistake snakes as docile animals. They are predators and carnivores, and many of them have venom to protect them. They do not recognize allies, and snakes are not social animals.  

Snakes born in captivity after several generations tend to be less aggressive. To some degree, there are even pet owners who do free handling of venomous species like the King Cobra and the Black Mamba.


Which Snake has the most Aggressive Strike?

Not all snakes possess the same speed when striking. Some snakes can strike and bite in the blink of an eye.

Based on studies, the fastest striker is the Cottonmouth Viper, which can strike at 2.98 meters per second squared. The meter per second squared is a measurement of acceleration. What it means is that its speed is accelerating by 2.98 meters per second.

The cottonmouth goes by different names, such as the copperhead, river rattler, and swamp lion. It is a water snake, and it is common in the southeastern USA. Apart from being fast strikers, they are also one of the most venomous in North America.

They strike when provoked. On some occasions, they give a warning by showing their fangs and producing a hissing sound.

There are two contenders to the fastest striker. These are the Diamondback Rattlesnake, which can strike at 2.95 meters per second squared, and the Texas Rat Snake with a striking speed of 2.67 meters per second squared.

The Black Mamba is not even in the top three, but it is still the most aggressive. Other snakes like the rattlesnake will typically show signs of warning before striking. As such, they do not match the Black Mamba as far as aggression is the issue.

Which Snake has the most Aggressive Bite?

The fastest killer among aggressive snakes is the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). It can kill a human being in less than 10 minutes after envenomation.

The King Cobra injects a large potent amount of venom. Particularly, its venom is neurotoxic. It shuts down the body’s nerves. As such, the muscles stop working. The victim goes into shock and paralysis.

As this happens, the body’s diaphragm slows down and eventually stops. It can also stop the heart from working, causing heart failure. While not as aggressive as the Black Mamba, one should not trifle with the King Cobra.


The most aggressive snake in the world is the Black Mamba. However, it is not the fastest striker or killer after envenomation. These titles belong to different snakes.

However, the Black Mamba shows no fear. It will fight and also protect its territory, especially during the breeding season.

Snakes are generally afraid of humans. However, they are not docile, and they cannot be tamed. There are some snake owners who are not afraid of free handling dangerous snakes. This practice, of course, is irresponsible and is shunned by many animal welfare advocates.

Skip to content