Which places in the world have no snakes?

I come from a country with plenty of snakes. When you go on bush walks you wear tall boots or long socks so a striking snake cannot get at you. Sometimes your cat will catch one or you find one basking on the pathway. I don’t mind non-venomous snakes. But let’s just say that I am glad that there are no black mambas in Sweden!

There are, however, countries and geographical areas with no snakes. These places are often cold, and/or islands. Snakes are cold-blooded and have no internal regulation mechanism for body temperature. So they rely on the temperature of their surroundings in order to survive. Countries with no snakes:

  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • Cape Verde
  • Many small Pacific island nations: Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands

States/areas with no snakes:

  • Siberia (Northern Russia)
  • Alaska
  • Greenland
  • Antarctica
  • Central and Northern Canada
  • The southern tip of Argentina and Chile
  • The northern part of Finland, and anywhere north of the Arctic Circle

Some tropical islands do have snakes, but the islands are either close enough to each other for snakes to be carried there by the current, or to swim between islands. Or the islands were originally a single land mass. Snakes could never get from Australia to New Zealand though – it is too far.

I wonder if snakes on ships or escaped/released pet snakes could populate a warm, previously snake-free island?

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. Siberia has a species of pit viper and it’s widely accepted that Alaska is home to garter snakes.

    1. I heard that all the brown snakes came to Guam on planes during the second world war just multiplied because they have no predators to kill them. So they killed off most of the birds and other small animals.
      go to Snopes for confirmation

  2. Hi Janet – Alaska has no snakes – even in the parts south of the Arctic Circle. That was a lovely thing for me after growing up in Texas.

Leave a Reply