Which country has the most venomous animals? Surprisingly, it’s not Australia but Mexico with 80, followed by Brazil with 79 and then Australia with just 66 (they just happen to be more potent). So how is venomous defined here?
Reddit user lanson15 used the Living Hazards Database from the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, which “… is a comprehensive compilation of more than 500 species worldwide, which are reported to cause serious injury or death of humans.”
In addition to the top 3 countries above, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam all have over 50 different species apiece. Europe, Central Asia and Canada are at the other extreme, with fewer than 10 species per country. And if you’re wondering about France, it’s because it includes French Guiana, which is considered an overseas department of France.
Generally speaking warmer places have more venomous species than colder places, although there are some interesting exceptions to this rule such as the Caribbean, Western Sahara, Madagascar, Bhutan and Lesotho, to name a few.
So if you make your travel plans based around how likely you are to get bitten by a snake or spider, you now have a map of which countries to visit and which to avoid.
Wonder how this looks in the United States:
Similar to the global trend, warmer Southern States have more venomous species than North States. Arizona is the clear winner (or loser) with over 30 species.
Want to learn more about venomous animals? Then have a look at the following books:
- Venomous Reptiles and Their Toxins: Evolution, Pathophysiology and Biodiscovery
- Toxic: Incredible Pictures and Fun Facts about the Most Poisonous Animals in the World
- A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants: North America North of Mexico
Would you avoid a country because it had too many venomous animals? Tell us in the comment section below: