Fastest Snake In The World: Fascinating Facts For Kids

Deepthi Reddy
Mar 07, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Nov 05, 2021
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Namib dwarf sand adder or Namib desert sidewinding adder snake on sand.

Snakes have been living on Earth for about 100 million years.

There are about 3,400 different species of snakes, which are divided into three groups. They are pit vipers, pythons, and colubrids.

Snakes are found globally except for Antarctica. All snakes are carnivores, and most of them eat small mammals and birds. Snakes are predominantly found in countries like Australia, India, Brazil, and South Africa and are a significant part of wildlife.

Among various snakes globally, some of the widely known venomous snakes that we usually see or hear about in the news or on a newspaper page dedicated to wildlife in recent times are the king cobra, the inland taipan, the black mamba, the pit viper, and many more.

Although snakes like the black mamba are considered to be deadly by many humans, some people find their speeds to grab their prey interestingly fast and often study these snakes to find how they evolved through the years.

They often try to study the combination of different possibilities related to how these fast-moving creatures would have evolved, and many researchers have published their studies on their website.

If you love reading more about fastest animals on this planet, why don't you check out our mesmerizing articles on the fastest dog and the fastest horse breed?

List Of Fastest Snakes

The sidewinder snake is the fastest in the world. It is found in arid and semi-desert areas of eastern and southern Africa. When this snake is in danger, it spreads out the skin between its pits, which is usually smooth and exposes a bright green warning coloration underneath.

The sidewinder ranks number one among the fastest snakes globally because of its ability to move its body at the speed of 18.02 mph (29 kph).

Imagine the speeds at which this snake can kill its prey even if it's 19.68 yd (18 m) away by injecting venom and grabbing animals in no time. After this snake, the black mamba species is ranked second of the fastest snakes in the world.

This is a venomous snake species that is famous for being endemic to the world's most dangerous areas of the African continent, mostly in the Sahara desert, particularly in Savannah.

The black mamba speed is noted to be around 11.80 mph (19 kph) to catch its prey, be it humans or a mouse in one bite.

The third-ranking snake out of the fastest snakes in the world is the southern black racer which can be as fast as 10 mph (16 kph) and is not venomous. Next on the list of fastest snakes in the world is the king cobra.

This snake is the most dangerous venomous snake in the world without a doubt and is also a popular one.

The fastest speed the king cobra can reach is 7 mph (11 kph), which usually leaves many people who encounter this giant snake in awe.

Following the king cobra, the cottonmouth viper ranks fifth, and the diamondback rattlesnake ranks sixth on the list of fastest snakes in the world. Speeds of both these snakes are 2.95 mph (4.74 kph), which vary a bit here and there.

The last and the seventh among the fastest snakes in the world is the rat snake, with a speed of around 5.5 mph (9 kph).

What is the fastest snake in the world?

The world's fastest snake is the sidewinder snake. The sidewinder snake is the fastest in the world.

It can move at a speed of up to 18 mph (29 kph). The second fastest snake in the world is the black mamba. The black mamba or the king cobra, many people assume that either of these two is the fastest species because of their aggressive nature and high speed.

Placing first on the list of fastest species of snakes, with the highest speed, is the sidewinder.

Also known as a desert sidewinder, this snake lives in deserts of the southern part of the USA and northern Mexico.

When a sidewinder wishes to reach a particular spot, it makes sure only two body parts touch the ground, which are its head and its tail.

This snake throws the whole length of its body in a forward loop, and as the head reaches the intended destination, the snake makes sure the head is firmly anchored and posts it there, after which it pulls the tail and posts it too, thus creating a grip that helps it move even faster, to the point that even the human eye may miss it!

It creates a shape like a human foot pushing sand in the desert downwards, which allows this sidewinder to move swiftly without sliding.

Fastest Striking Snake

The fastest ground snake on the planet is the sidewinder, which can move at speeds up to 18 mph (29 kmh). It's a type of rattlesnake and is found on the northern Pacific coast of Mexico. Other African rattlesnakes may be able to move faster, but not as far as the sidewinder.

The fastest and quickest striking snake in the world is the common death adder. Death adders are giant, stout, brown, or grayish black snakes with large, triangular-shaped heads.

They are reasonably easy to identify with thick black bands, lighter mid-lateral bands, and dark tails. The common death adder is found widely in Australia.

The snake strike speed is less than 0.15 seconds. It can inject venom from its mouth by striking its fangs which are pointed in shape and long in length so quickly that a human eye might miss it.

Fastest Snake In Water

The sidewinder or the horned adder is the only species in the genus Atheris. It does not share the genus.

The snake is named after Atheris, a genus of venomous vipers native to northern Africa and the Middle East, and is the fastest ground snake. The snake is a slender, quick-moving snake that is usually greenish in color with characteristic darker green bands. The snake's body is covered in tiny pits that help the snake to sense its environment.

The fastest water snake is the cottonmouth viper snake, which has been clocked at speeds of up to 11.5 mph (18.5 kph). They are often found in the southern United States and are extremely dangerous. These cottonmouth viper snakes are the most venomous snakes in North America, but they only strike when they are provoked.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the fastest snake in the world, then why not take a look at the fastest dinosaur or the fastest sea animal?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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