What Is The Most Expensive Snake In The World?

The best things in life are free, which might explain why so many nightmarish things cost a ton of money. For instance, the venom of a deathstalker scorpion costs a whopping $39 million per gallon, according to Business Insider. They might say the price derives from the difficulty of "milking scorpions," but scorpions don't produce milk; they produce trauma and years of therapy.  And then, of course, there are snakes, reptiles so terrifying that one of them got accused of being Satan. It's indeed a hell of reptile, and they can be hella expensive.

We're (kind of) kidding about snakes being terrifying since obviously people buy them as pets, but the bits about snake-Satan and high prices are pretty much on the money. What are the most expensive snakes on this side of hell? Multiple sites, including Forbes and Finances Online, list ball pythons as some of the most expensive fork-tongued devils around. Native to central and western Africa, according to Animal Planet, the ball python reaches up to 6 feet long and have an average life span of 10 years in the wild (20 to 30 years in captivity).

So how expensive can ball python snakes get?

According to Forbes, a pair of ball pythons could cost you a around $100,000 (so about $50,000 apiece) while Finances Online places the price at $40,000 for a single lavender ball python. The highest price listed on Morph Market as of this writing is nearly $30,000 for a slithering beauty known as Skittles," "a one of a kind Albino Pied Silver Streak Chimera/Paradox." That's a far cry from what these pricey pythons cost when they first became popular in the U.S. Per Reptiles magazine, they originally sold for $15 to $20 a pop. That all changed in 1992 when the first captive-bred albino ball pythons hit the market, selling for a wallet-denting $7,500. From there breeders fruitfully multiplied the snakes, leading to increases in unique patterns and prices.

Ball pythons aren't the only snakes that cost more than a nice four-door sedan. A 2011 article by CNBC listed reticulated pythons as extremely expensive pets, with prices ranging between $25,000 and $50,000. The highest price tag belonged to a reticulated python named Fluffy, which held the Guinness World record for longest snake and even got to meet/traumatize late night legend David Letterman. Fluffy was an intimidating 24 feet long and weighed 300 pounds when the Ohio Columbus zoo purchased him for $50,000.