Venomous vs. Poisonous

What’s the difference between venomous and poisonous? While many people think the words are interchangeable, they’re actually not. Both venom and poison are bad things to come into contact with, but how one goes about contacting them can be very different.


Venom is something that is injected into your body in order to feel its dangerous effects. Animals can carry their venom in many different places including:

  • Their fangs (like snakes and spiders)
  • Stingers (like scorpions)
  • Their spurs (like platypuses)

Venom can do many negative things to your body including:

  • Swelling
  • Pain (ranging from mild to extreme)
  • Heart Failure
  • Death

Poison is something you would need to touch or eat to make your body sick. Many animal and plants are poisonous as a form of defense. These can include:

Much like venom, poison can range from mild to fatal, such as:

  • Itchy rash
  • Upset stomach
  • Respiratory Failure (lungs stop working)

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