Snakes are an incredibly diverse group of animals. They come in a large variation of colors, patterns and sizes! Some snake species are not much larger than an earthworm, while some get absolutely colossal. In this article, we’ll list some of the largest snakes in the world.
Most of the species on this list are Pythons, however there are a few venomous snakes that make the list. Trying to get reliable estimates of some of the world’s largest snakes can be tricky, because oftentimes you have people that greatly over exaggerate the size of the snakes they find, kind of like how avid fishermen bend the truth about how big their catch is. But there is no doubt that the snakes on this list are some of the biggest snakes in the world!
12 of the Worlds Largest Snakes
1. Reticulated Python
Scientific name: Malayopython reticulatus
Adult length: 5-23 ft
Adult weight: 10-165 lb
The Reticulated Python is the longest species of snake in the world. Reticulated Pythons can be found in the forests, villages, and even cities of Southeast Asia. These giants have been known to occur in huge densities in cities like Bangkok and Singapore.
While it is uncommon, and humans generally aren’t known to be on the menu for snakes, there have been a few cases of Reticulated Pythons consuming humans, which speaks to the enormous size of this species!
2. King Cobra
Scientific name: Ophiophagus hannah
Adult length: 8.2-19 ft
Adult weight: 5-26 pounds
King Cobras are the longest venomous snakes in the world. They are found throughout Southeast Asia in forests, villages, agricultural fields and urban areas. They are actually one of the only known predators of number #1 on the list (Reticulated Pythons).
For more facts about the longest venomous snake in the world click here.
3. Green Anaconda
Scientific name: Eunectes murinus
Adult length: 10-17 ft
Adult weight: 66-215 lb
Green Anacondas are the heaviest snake in the world. Although they can grow to be very long too! Green Anacondas are native to South America where they prefer aquatic environments. They can be found in swamps, wetlands and streams.
Green Anacondas are distantly related to Pythons, and are considered constrictors. Constrictors kill their prey by literally constricting or squeezing them to death rather than using venom. They tend to prey on unsuspecting mammals that come to water sources to drink and will eat animals as large as deer.
4. Burmese Python
Scientific name: Python bivittatus
Adult length: 6.5-19 ft
Adult weight: 10-200 lbs
Burmese Pythons are found in a wide variety of habitats throughout Southeast Asia. In fact, they share much of the same range as Reticulated Pythons and King Cobras. Burmese Pythons are popular pets and are also famously invasive in the Florida Everglades.
Because of their huge size, they have very few natural predators. Once they reach adulthood their only predators are Tigers and King Cobras. For more interesting facts about Burmese pythons click here.
5. African Rock Python
Scientific name: Python sebae
Adult length: 9-16 ft
Adult weight: 71-200 lb
African Rock Pythons are from (you guessed it!) Africa. They are found throughout the continent south of the Sahara Desert. The African Rock Python is one of the largest snakes in the world and is by far the largest snake in Africa.
African Rock Pythons are related to several other of the snakes on this list. African Rock Pythons are great mothers (at least by snake standards) and will stay with their eggs until they hatch and will even stay with their hatchlings for the first few weeks.
6. Scrub Python
Scientific name: Simalia amethistina
Adult length: 6.5-23.6 ft
Adult weight: 11-66 lbs
The Scrub Python is the largest snake in Australia and one of the largest snakes in the world. It is found in Northern Australia as well as Papua New Guinea where it lives in forests, scrublands (hence the name) and even in suburban areas.
Like many other pythons, Scrub Pythons tend to like wet, humid areas and may prey upon unsuspecting mammals by the edges of water sources. There has even been an account of a Scrub Python attempting to eat a woman in Australia. however the woman was far too big for the 12 ft python and she escaped without injury.
7. Indian Rock Python
Scientific name: Python molurus
Adult length: 10-15 ft
Adult weight: 30-110 lbs
The Indian Rock Python looks a lot like it’s relatives, the Burmese and African Rock Python. They all share a very similar black, brown and golden pattern. In fact, Burmese Pythons and African Rock Pythons were once grouped together as the same species with Burmese pythons being a subspecies.
Indian Rock Pythons are found in (you guessed it!) India but are also found in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh. They tend to like habitats with water sources but may also be found in more arid habitat types.
8. Gaboon Viper
Scientific name: Bitis gabonica
Adult length: 32-52 in
Adult weight: 20-45 lbs
The Gaboon Viper is the largest venomous snake in the world by weight. Truthfully it does not grow that long, but gets incredibly heavy for its length. Gaboon Vipers can be found in the forests of Sub-Saharan Africa where they sit waiting in ambush in fallen leaf litter.
The Gaboon Viper also has the longest fangs of any snake that get up to 2 inches in length! After the King Cobra, the Gaboon Viper has the highest venom yield of any snake and is able to pump a large amount of venom into its’ prey.
9. Black Mamba
Scientific name: Dendroaspis polylepsis
Adult length: 6-14 ft
Adult weight: 1.5-5.3 lb
The Black Mamba is one of the world’s largest venomous snakes. They typically do not grow to be over 10 ft, however there has been a couple of abnormally large snakes that have grown to be around 14 ft long. Black Mambas are from Central and Southern Africa and are most common in dry, arid areas.
They are known for their quick speeds and ability to climb up trees quickly and effortlessly. Black Mambas are able to move at speeds of 12 miles/hour which is pretty impressive for a snake!
10. Boa Constrictor
Scientific name: Boa constrictor
Adult length: 3-14 ft
Adult weight: 22-100 lb
The Boa Constrictor is one of the only animals to have the same common name and scientific or latin name. As the name suggests, they are constricting snakes like many of the other snakes on this list, squeezing their prey to death.
Boa Constrictors are found widely throughout South America and prefers humid forests, but can also be found in drier habitats. Boa Constrictors are very common in the pet trade are also well-known in zoological collections where they have been known to live for up to 40 years!
Scientific name: Lachesis muta
Adult length: 6.5-13 ft
Adult weight: 6.5-15.5 lb
The Bushmaster is a venomous Pitviper found in South and Central America. They are thought to be the longest venomous snake found in the Western Hemisphere. Bushmasters do not have a rattle like Rattlesnakes, but do beat their tail against the ground when threatened. This behavior has earned them the nickname the “mute Rattlesnake”.
12. Olive Python
Scientific name: Liasis olivaceus
Adult length: 8-13 ft
Adult weight: Not reported
Olive Pythons are named after their pale green (olive) coloring. They are one of the largest snakes in Australia. Olive Pythons prefer rocky habitats near water sources in Northern Australia. They are sometimes confused with the highly venomous King Brown snake, which can lead to people killing them, despite them being virtually harmless.
For some people, the fact that snakes can get as large as they can is pretty unsettling. Many people are afraid of snakes, and even more afraid of giant snakes. That being said, most of the time we are not on the menu for snakes and the chances of encountering one big enough to eat a person are slim to none.
But, it is hard to deny the coolness factor of snakes that can reach lengths of 10, 15, 20 feet plus! For snake enthusiasts, finding a snake that big would be a dream come true!