I have been looking around and I see some claims of 15 to 30 minutes. Googling 'snake bite fastest time to death' brings back many different answers. In one place I see Black Mamba with 30 minutes and in another it takes hours.

For the sake of this question, assume time to death is when antidote will no longer help. Person might still be breathing, but are those who are unlikely to live, regardless of what care they receive(Triage)

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    It depends on the type of snake, the size of the victim, and where they get bit. A child getting bit in the jugular by an inland taipan is going to go a lot quicker than a 300lbs cowboy getting bit in the toe by a rattlesnake.
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 22, 2016 at 17:56
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    agreed to @ShemSeger It's not possible to come up with an answer without more specific details. That said, I saw on TV some time ago an Australian snake (one of many) that could kill in minutes.
    – Desorder
    Aug 22, 2016 at 21:20
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    Younger snakes usually give higher does of venom per bite. Different snakes have different types of venom and thus affect their victims differently.
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 22, 2016 at 23:18
  • Along with what ShemSeger said above, it also matters on amoutn of venom it injected... Thats probably the most important factor!
    – WedaPashi
    Aug 23, 2016 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


Dying in minutes, barring smashing your head on a rock as you fall from the snake bite, won't happen. I know a toxicologist and asking him he agreed that a few hours is the rule-of-thumb for someone who receives no treatment. Even a Black Mamba would take say 6-7 hours at the fastest.

As a caveat, however, a snake bite could bring about complications from pre-existing conditions, such as heart or circulation issues.

I would like more clarification on what exactly you're looking for. Also note this is a topic of much exaggeration. Most anecdotal accounts I read say in the range of 15-30 minutes but any scientifically backed reports I find say hours.

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    I don't think you can make this generalization. As mentioned in the comments, it depends on the victim, the snake and the bite. A highly venomous snake biting a small child on the face or neck with a large, deep envenomation is going to be much faster than a bite to the lower extremities of an adult. Aug 22, 2016 at 22:45

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