King Cobra – Largest Venomous Snakes in the World

King Cobra

One of the most common fears is ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes. And when it comes to King Cobra, even a bodybuilder is bound to get goosebumps.

No snake in this world has esteem as daunting as the King Cobra.

The King Cobra is well-known because of its massive size and bulky appearance but there is more to the King than just this. Here is a list of some fascinating facts about the King Cobra that will surely amaze you!

Fact #1 Longest Venomous Snake

Longest Venomous Snake

Besides its toxic venom, the cobra’s size is enough to frighten anyone. A mature king cobra is the longest venomous snake on the entire planet.

This species can grow up to 5.7 meters (18.8 feet) long; with males being longer and thicker than females. New York Zoological Park came across the heaviest King Cobra weighing 28 pounds i.e. 12.7 kilograms in 1972.

Fact #2 King Cobras are not the most venomous

King Cobras are not the most venomous

They are not the most venomous snakes but they sure are deadly. It can release enough poison to kill 20 grown men in a single bite. In fact, the venom is so deadly that it can kill a human in close to 25 minutes. The venom of the King Cobra targets the central nervous system which eventually causes organ failure and painful death.

Fact #3 Hunting Skills

King Cobra has been known to adapt to various climatic conditions without a problem.

What makes them so comfortable in all kinds of climates?

king cobra Hunting Skills

The answer lies in their skilled hunting tactics and powerful venom. With both these things combined, it can find food and thus survive quite easily in any kind of environment.

They use their tongue to pick the scent and pass it to a special sensory receptor organ called Jacobson’s organ which is located on the top of their mouth to detect and locate the direction of their prey.

Moreover, they have excellent eyesight as compared to other snakes. They can see up to 330 feet and this obviously gives them an edge. They are very good swimmers and are lightning-fast.

They can raise one-third of their body off the ground to scare off their predator. They can still move forward while their bodies are raised off the ground and can strike at longer distances.

Most of the time victims misjudge the safe zone and get bitten. King Cobra may bite multiple times in a single attack.

Fact #4 Where are they Found?

king cobra

They are native to India and can be found in the major parts of the country, especially the east and northeast parts. This marvelous snake can also be found in the neighboring countries of Nepal, a few parts of China, Thailand and Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

They live in highland dense forests and are commonly found around water bodies like streams and lakes. However, their population has declined due to the destruction of forests.  

Against the contrary belief that the King Cobra, like other Cobras, belongs to the Naga genus, the King Cobra has its own genus called Ophiophagus which means snake eating in Greek.

Fact #5 The Vaccination


Yes, we do have Vaccines for King Cobra’s bites but unfortunately, there are just two of them available. One is manufactured in Thailand while the other is manufactured in India.

They do not usually fight humans and fleas away but if cornered, the King Cobra takes its signature defense stance, erects one-third of its body which is almost equal to the average human height, looks the attacker in the eyes, and gives a warning sound.

This is the time you should be backing off slowly and saving your life.

Fact #6 Behavior 

cobra Behavior

Though they have a frightening reputation, generally, they are very shy and prefer to avoid confrontation as much as possible. When confronted, they will try to escape. However, nesting females are an exception and can attack very readily

While they are not generally aggressive and tend to flee to avoid threats, they are not a threat to humans. However, their bites can be very dangerous and potentially lead to death quickly

Their venom is a neurotoxin and has the capability to kill an elephant in a matter of just some hours. It attacks the brain and respiratory system and death occurs due to respiratory and cardiac failure.  However, if immediate treatment and anti-venoms are given death can be avoided.  

Fact #7 The King Cobra’s Diet

King Cobra’s Diet

Their diet mainly consists of other snakes like rat snakes and small pythons. They generally avoid venomous snakes but do not hesitate to eat other venomous snakes like cobras and Kraits if they come across their path.

When food is rare to find they will even eat lizards, frogs, and rats. They also eat birds, eggs, and chickens.

They have a slow metabolic rate and can survive for many months without eating after having a large meal. Like other snakes, they also swallow their prey from the head and food is digested by strong acids in their stomach.

Fact #8 Mother King Cobras

Mother King Cobras

King Cobras mating season runs between January to April. In contrast to other snakes King Cobra mothers are very dedicated and make nests for their eggs.

They protect their eggs delicately and get very aggressive if someone tries to harm their eggs.

They lay between 20 to 40 eggs in the nest and remain there until they hatch. It takes around 60 to 90 days to hatch the eggs. Once the eggs start to hatch the mothers leave the nest and leave babies on their own.

Fact #9 Young King Cobra

Young King Cobra

Baby King Cobras when born are between 18 to 22 inches long. They become independent as soon as they are born and have as much venom as their parents, they are capable of hunting from birth.

But many young king cobras fall prey to mongooses, civet cats, giant centipedes, and even birds like eagles and hawks.

Fact #10 Myths and Beliefs

There are many myths in India related to snakes. Snakes are widely worshipped in India and have religious significance.  It is believed in India that King Cobras have an exceptional memory.

According to a myth, the picture of the killer stays in the eyes of the king cobra and it is used by the partner to find the killer and take revenge by killing him.

In Burma, King cobras are used by female charmers. They tattoo their upper bodies with ink mixed with its venom, believing that it would save them from the snake. These snake charmers kiss the head of the king cobra to end the show.

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