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Would you want to get bitten by a black mamba?

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Okay, we'll bite! The answer is no. You wouldn't want to be bitten by any animal. Especially not one that National Geographic says is widely considered the world's deadliest snake.

Fun fact you can use to impress your science teacher: the black mamba is not black. Its body could be gray, dark brown or olive. The black actually refers to the colour of the inside of its mouth — which you don't want to see, because that usually means it's not happy with you.

The black mamba lives in the rocky savannas and lowland forests of eastern and southern Africa. Despite its ssssssscary reputation, the black mamba is pretty shy... until it's threatened! Then all bets are off. According to Britannica Library, once a black mamba strikes, it will bite its victim over and over. Its venom is so toxic that two drops will reportedly kill most humans, usually within 20 minutes!

The venom contains neurotoxin and cardiotoxin, meaning it attacks both the nervous system and the heart. There is antivenom, but it's hard to get in rural areas. Like many other feared animals, black mambas don't attack humans unprovoked. They may be completely armless, but they are fast and easily spooked. If you ever come across one, don't bother it, don't corner it, just leave it alone!

 

Image source: "Black Mamba" by hape662 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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