Nature is full of wonderful things- but it can also be absolutely terrifying. Take for, example, the humble snake.
This legless, slithering creature should not be as frightening as it is but with so many dangerous breeds and venomous offshoots they can be fearsome foes. Here we catalog 21 of the fiercest and deadliest.
1. Black Mamba
Found in Africa and named because of the coloration around their mouths, these snakes can kill with one bite, which is worrying since typically they deliver a series of bites in rapid succession.
Its venom can cause collapse within 45 minutes and will kill within 7 - 15 hours if not treated.
Named because of the sound it makes to warn that it feels threatened, it shakes its rattling tail to let you know to stay away, and that is probably a good idea as their venom can destroy tissue and cause massive blood clots.
What's worse is that they can control how much venom to inject and some types of rattlesnake can paralyze you with it. Typically found in North America, they are also found in parts of South America.
3. Death Adder
The clue is in the name here. Death Adders are typically found in Australia and New Guinea and can deliver a bite that paralyzes, if this is left untreated it can cause complete respiratory failure within six hours although they are not active hunters.
Preferring to lie in hiding for their prey, they use the tip of their tail, which looks somewhat like a worm, to attract rodents and birds before ambushing them.
Found across the globe, these snakes can be particularly dangerous due to their hollow, hinged fangs that allow them to penetrate deeply and inject their venom, the amount of which they can control.
Death is usually caused by a collapse in blood pressure due to clotting and blood loss as well as other cardiovascular problems.
5. Phillippine Cobra
Native to the northern Phillippines, this snake is known for being able to spit its venom up to three meters.
A neurotoxin that causes abdominal pain and diarrhoea, their venom can also lead to complete respiratory failure.
6. Tiger Snake
As if snakes weren't scary enough, this one is named after a deadly mammal because of its unique coloration.
Found in Australia, they can reach up to three meters long, and a bite can kill within 30 minutes.
7. Inland Taipan
Australia seems to have a wealth of horrifying reptiles including the Inland Taipan whose bite can kill within the hour.
Usually quite timid, they can be incredibly aggressive when deciding to attack. Drop for drop, the most venomous snake in the world.
8. Blue Krait
A bite from a Blue Krait with leave you feeling more than just a little blue. Of Southeast Asian origin, these beautiful but deadly creatures are found in places like India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.
Despite their prepossessing, stripey features, they should be feared as even after treatment of their venom, it has still been known to kill.
9. Eastern Brown Snake
Considered the world's 2nd most venomous snake, it is native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. Typically this species doesn't issue fatal bites but it does have the power to do so, and they should be treated immediately.
Because of their mainly rodent diet, they are often found near houses or farms thus making them that much more dangerous.
10. Belcher's Sea Snake
Not regarded as very dangerous due to its timid nature and reluctance to bite unless mistreated or threatened, most people who are bitten are often fisherman handling nets, and even then the snake will not inject its venom.
However, its venom is so powerful that it is thought that just a few milligrams of it could kill up to a thousand people.
11. African Puff Adder
With the highest fatal bite rate of any snake across the continent, the African Puff is well known in that part of the world and can be found lounging in the sun on the side of roads or near houses.
Bites can lead to immovable limbs and if not treated carefully can lead to muscles separating from the tissue with survival rates varying wildly depending on a series of complex factors.
12. Forest Cobra
The biggest cobra in the whole of Africa, it can reach up to 2.2 meters in length and can climb trees of 10 meters with great rapidity and ease.
Easily agitated it can deliver neurotoxins that stop the heart and lungs from working.
13. Desert Horned Viper
With an impressive set of devils horns, these animals are found in Northern Africa and the Middle East where they move by sidewinding, leaving whole impressions of their body in the sand as they move diagonally across the loose material.
Envenomation usually causes swelling, haemorrhage, necrosis, nausea, vomiting, and haematuria but can be treated.
A tree-dwelling snake of sub-Saharan Africa with large eyes and a small head, the boomslang's venom is often slow acting.
This means it can take hours to show any signs of taking effect but when it does victims often die of internal bleeding.
15. King Cobra
The largest venomous snake in the world, it can grow up to four meters long and has a distinct hood that they extend in a defensive posture. Typically they avoid confrontation with humans and issue a warning growl rather than a hiss.
Records of its bites are scarce but its venom, which it can deliver up to 500mg of in one bite, can kill within 30 minutes if the antivenom is not administered. Worshipped in parts of India and Burma, it is possibly the most iconic snake globally.
16. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
The largest of their species, they are also the heaviest venomous snake reaching up to 10kg in weight.
Found in the Southeast of the USA they are not usually aggressive.
17. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Found in Mexico and the Southwest of the US, they are more venomous than their Eastern counterparts.
Garnering an infamous reputation for being responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in Mexico and second most in the US with a venom that can destroy tissue, this is a snake you wouldn't want to ever come across.
18. Coral Snakes
Extremely venomous, a bite from one of these highly colored snakes needs to be treated immediately.
However, it is rare they will bite as they inhabit sparsely populated areas and often flee.
19. Russell's Viper
A bite from one of these is known to be immensely painful.
In fact, the slightest of bites from a viper will cause immeasurable pain, such as blistering, bruising and internal bleeding. Those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a viper's wrath must seek treatment immediately.
20. Carpet Python
Carpet pythons belong to a large snake of the family Pythonidae found in large swathes of Australia, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands.
Often making the rounds online for their gruesome eating habits of certain prey, which mainly consists of lizards, small birds and bats, carpet pythons have also been known to devour domesticated dogs and cats.
21. Coastal Taipan
The coastal taipan, is an extremely venomous snake belonging to the Elapidae family. Found mainly in the coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia and the island of New Guinea, the Coastal taipan has the ability to do some serious damage to humans.
Indeed, should you be unlucky enough to be bitten by one of these things, you better run fast as studies have shown they are capable of producing just as much venom in their second and third bites.