Are you interested in adopting one of the most famous snakes in the world?
Do you want to learn more about the boa constrictor’s capabilities?
Most new owners worry about how powerful the boa constrictor is.
Movies and TV tend to show the darker side of snakes and constrictors.
In reality, these snakes are more startled by you than you are of it.
However, you do need to know information about the pets you adopt which is why you may wonder:
How hard can a boa constrictor squeeze?
Boa constrictors are large and powerful snakes, but they rarely cause severe harm to people. Depending on the size of the boa, it squeezes with 6-12 lbs of pressure per inch. It’s considered one of the strongest snakes on Earth.
Read the rest of the post to put this in perspective.
Table of Contents
How Hard Does A Boa Constrictor Squeeze?
Why does the boa constrictor squeeze at all?
Snakes either catch and kill their food by squeezing or biting.
Squeezing snakes such as pythons and boas aren’t poisonous.
They hold down their prey and either bite to kill after or squeeze the life out of them before they eat.
While the boa constrictor does have teeth and is capable of biting, it rarely does so.
Instead, the boa prefers to hide, slither away, or immobilize threats and prey by squeezing them.
Learn about what can eat a boa constrictor.
The boa constrictor grows to a massive size of 10′ feet and 30 pounds or more.
But they don’t reach this size until an older age.
There is a variety in their sizing, depending on diet and gender.
You may wish to learn about how long boas live.
This alters how strong they are.
Experts say the boa constrictor exerts between 6-12 lbs of pressure per square inch as an adult.
How Strong Is A Boa Constrictor Squeeze Compared To Other Things?
Numbers mean nothing without a context.
6-12 lbs per square inch only make sense when compared to other things that squeeze or press.
We looked around the items in everyday life to give you a better idea of how tight a boa constrictor can squeeze.
|Item Doing The Squeezing
|Pounds per square inch (psi)
|Being under an inch of water
|Block jugular veins in the throat
|Block carotid arteries
|The pressure needed to break neck bone
|Average hand squeezing as hard as possible
|One-handed bar clamp (like used in woodworking)
|The pressure required to break a femur
|Water Jet Cutter
As the table shows, there are many normal things out there that are stronger than the boa constrictor’s squeeze.
But keep in mind, this strength is equal throughout the whole 7′ – 10′ feet of length.
The boa hunts by squeezing and killing the animals.
Often this will break some smaller prey’s bones.
But they also kill this way by stopping circulation and breathing.
What Snake Has The Strongest Squeeze?
This is a difficult question to answer clearly.
If you take pure total strength into account, the boa constrictor has the most powerful squeeze.
Newer studies are also taking size related to strength into consideration.
According to these new studies, King Snake’s are the strongest snake relative to its size.
Both the boa and the king snake kill by squeezing their prey and disrupting blood flow.
The king snake is interesting because it includes other, larger snakes in its diet.
Still, on the merits of overall strength, we call the boa constrictor the king of squeeze for a good reason.
Can A Boa Constrictor Squeeze Kill You?
Technically yes, but several things have to happen.
Taking the pounds of pressure into account and the history between humans and boa constrictors, the answer is extremely unlikely.
The boa does exert enough force when constricting (not just coiling like it usually does) to disrupt blood flow.
If the boa does this around your neck, you would quickly pass out and then potentially die.
However, boa constrictors don’t hunt you. I’m usually too afraid.
Plus, the pounds of pressure it exerts isn’t too tricky to pull off.
The exception would be if you allowed it to wrap several times around your head and neck.
This could immobilize you and knock you out quickly.
Sounds scary, right?
It’s all easily avoided by taking the standard precaution of NOT letting the snake wrap around your neck.
Simply move the boa away from your neck.
If it does seem to be constricting, lift it from the tail and unwrap the snake.
The boa rarely bites or constricts people unless it’s startled or stressed.
Stay calm, and remember these tips.
For another matter, the boa constrictor wouldn’t be able to swallow a human even at the largest size.
You’re not their prey at all.
Reticulated pythons are much larger and have been known to attack people.
However, even this python is easy to avoid with a weaker strength maxing out around 7 psi.
Now you know how tight a boa constrictor squeezes when it wants to kill or fight back.
When a boa coils around something most of the time, it’s not exerting its full force.
When you pick it up, and it wraps around you, you’re safe.
But the boa can tighten quickly, so never let it wrap around your neck.
6-12 lbs of pressure per square inch isn’t a lot, and you’ll never experience this yourself unless the snake is startled and feels threatened.
Few owners regret getting this surprisingly docile reptile, so we encourage you to check it out.