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Home > Snakes > Are There Snakes in Alaska? Simple Explanation

Are There Snakes in Alaska? Simple Explanation


The great state of Alaska is home to a wide range of wild creatures, from polar bears to moose, mountain goats, and caribou. Since it’s known as The Last Frontier, you might think that there are snakes in Alaska too! But we’ve got interesting news for you.

There are no snakes in Alaska—at least, not wild snakes. There are snakes in Alaskan zoos and in the homes of people who keep them as pets, but there are no snakes living in the vast wilderness of this beautiful state.

new snake divider What’s Up With the Missing Snakes?

The reason Alaska is snake less is that the climate in this northern state is too cold to support snakes. As cold-blooded reptiles, snakes prefer to live in warmer climates where the ground doesn’t freeze as much as it does in Alaska and there’s less snow.

Once in a while, people find snakes on their Alaska property or in the wild. But the reason snakes make the Alaskan news from time to time is that the animals have simply escaped from someone’s home.

Rosy Boa snake
Image By: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

There Are Some Reptiles in Alaska

Alaska is not entirely free of reptiles, as various sea turtles have been seen off its southeastern coast.

Sea Turtles Spotted Along Alaskan Coastlines
  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

While these turtle species can be seen every now and then near the Alaska coastline, it’s a relatively rare occurrence. These marine turtles simply prefer to spend their time in warmer waters. Also, Alaska’s chilly climate cannot support any land turtles, including box turtles and tortoises.

There Are More Amphibians in Alaska Than Reptiles

Amphibians include animals like frogs, toads, and salamanders that spend part of their life cycle in water. Reptiles include animals like snakes, turtles, and lizards that don’t need water to survive, though they often live near water and even spend time in it.

There are six species of amphibians that are native to Alaska.

Six Species of Amphibians in Alaska
  • Columbia Spotted Frog
  • Wood Frog
  • Roughskin Newt
  • Long-Toed Salamander
  • Northwestern Salamander
  • Western Toad

If you’re wondering why so few amphibians live in Alaska, it’s due to the state’s climate. It’s too cold to support most of these animals that spend part of their lives in water. The ones that do live in Alaska are hearty enough to survive the cool climate.

Portrait of a western toad
Image By: Michael Benard, Shutterstock

Alaska Is Home to One Odd Creature

If you travel to Alaska, you won’t run across any snakes, which is good news if you’re not a fan. If you’re lucky, you may spot a few marine turtles off the southeastern coast, though it’s not likely. However, Alaska is home to one very weird creature that lives in the ice.

The Ice Worm is a relative of the common earthworm and the only segmented worm known to spend its entire life in glacial ice. The common earthworm freezes solid and dies in very cold temperatures, but not the Ice Worm. This creepy crawler can increase its cellular energy levels and thrive in extreme cold.

In fact, if the Ice Worm is exposed to temperatures above freezing, its small black body will begin to deteriorate. As the worm is exposed to warmer temperatures, its body simply turns to mush, and it dies.

new snake divider In Conclusion

Without a doubt, Alaska is one of the best states for the die-hard snake-phobic person. There are no snakes living in The Last Frontier except for a few in the zoos and the ones in peoples’ homes that are kept as pets.

Alaska isn’t the only snake-less place on earth. You won’t run across any snakes in the Arctic or Antarctic, nor will any slither by you while visiting the northernmost parts of Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Canada and the southernmost tip of South America.

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Featured Image Credit: artellliii72, Pixabay

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