How deadly venom is actually saving lives
A snake's venom is meant to help kill their prey, but scientists are figuring out how to use the deadly toxins to save lives.
The Brazilian pit viper injects its victims with venom - causing them to black out from a drop in blood pressure. The pit viper then swallows them head first. However, the snake's venom is now the source of the drug Captopril, the most commonly prescribed medication for abnormally high blood pressure, and it has been since the early 1980s. It now treats some 40 million people worldwide. The drug opened an entirely new venom-based class of medicine, and the field has only flourished since.
See some of the venomous animals below:
Two other medications derived from the Dusky pygmy rattlesnake and saw-scaled viper were approved by the FDA in the 90s to treat heart conditions.
Since then, seven other venom-based drugs have been approved, ten are in clinical trials, and countless others are in preclinical stages. They are aimed at treating conditions like hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, and neurological conditions.
Obtaining the venom is far from safe, as the guys Discovery's "Swamp Brothers" learned when they were shown how dangerous it is to "milk a snake." Bryan Fry, a researcher from Australia's University of Queensland has suffered 24 snake bites while obtaining venom.
For more scary creatures, check out the video below on the world's deadliest animals:
More from AOL.com:
Study: Parents take a risk when they wait to name their babies
This airport introduces the first terminal just for animals
This brilliant man invented a hands-free Segway wheelchair