Would you rather get bitten by a shark or get bitten by a venomous snake?
Let's consider three possibilities here. There are a lot of sharks, and a lot of venomous snakes.
The most powerful shark that has the temperament and diet to take a bite of me is the great white. I'll probably lose a limb and certainly be scarred from the encounter, but I will still most probably live. If I am bitten by the most venomous snake, the coastal taipan, I probably won't. Here, I'd rather be bitten by the shark.
If it's the least powerful of the bunch, there are a lot of colubrid snakes incapable of injecting lethal amounts of venom into an adult man like myself. A lot of sharks-the wobbegong, or the zebra shark as examples-that cannot get more than a nibble on a human. I'd rather get hit by the snake here, I think. I'll have to get stitches from the shark; I won't from the snake.
What about the species most likely to kill you? Which of these is worst? The bull and tiger sharks are the most prolific human killers. But sharks only kill about five people every year. While scarring and pain will be part of the experience, I'm likely to live. Four snakes together rack up the most kills: Russell's vipers, saw-scaled vipers, Indian cobras, and kraits. They kill 20,000 people in a year. This is a no-brained. The snakes are worse.
Overall, venomous snakes are much worse to encounter than are sharks.
Well gee, the question has too many variables..is the shark at sea, and i'm in the water alone, or at i am an aquarium? I'd rather be bit by a Copperhead, as i know they aren't lethal, but how close to medical attention am i? If i just got bit by the gorgeous Mamba, in the African Jungles...too bad for me, unless a guide happens to have refrigerated antidote in a cooler nearby...for that specific snake. There are all sorts of ‘confounding' factors and different conditions that would strongly change my answer to the question. No doubt either bite hurts, but underwater, or initial impacts are usually the least of ones worries. If I'm working with Sharks at an Aquarium, or am bit by a venomous snake at a zoological park, than it doesn't matter either way, only being a snake lover, i'd get some bragging rights. Getting bit by an Elasmobranch might be okay, If at an Aquarium....In the wild, a feeding frenzy is initiated, and even if rescued, there's only so much skin (our largest organ..never thought about that, eh?) that's been removed in shark bite-size chunks, leaves little to sew together; you'll be looking like a patchwork quilt, with future surgeries in store. Now, it could be, that my hand gets bit, by a juvenile 1/2 m long Nurse shark, at an Aquarium, and, well, no bragging rights, moreso, i know what i did wrong to let the animal bite. Maybe a few stitches, maybe not...the point being, if your at any type of facility, they are ready for such emergencies. In the wild, i would probably suffer less getting torn up by sharks, than waiting out hours of immobilization, bleeding, renal failure...very painful effects of venomous snake toxin, not meant for humans, but impacting the function of our major organs. Most likely, death is NOT from wildlife (except other humans).
The snake bite is far less traumatic until the venom starts doing what it does. Amputation is very uncommon but reaction to the antivenin can complicate treatment in some individuals.
A shark although a case of mistaken identity is dining...and it is far more common to lose a limb to the shark before he tastes that i am not the tasty blubber fat of a seal.
I will choose the snake since many snakes have been shown to limit the amount of venom delivered on a defensive bite compared to one that delivers the venom to start digestion before consumption.
The pictures i have seen when the antivenin isn,t working or when you need multiple doses doesn,t look pretty...but a black and blue arm swollen 3 times normal size can be saved and used like normal in the future, but a prosthetic arm has got to be the worst best case senario when dealing w/ those apex predators in the ocean.
Depends. If the choice was between a bite to the leg from a sand shark versus a bite from a King Cobra, I'll take the shark. If it is between a Pygmy rattlesnake and a great white shark, I'll take the Pygmy bite, as they are not particularly fatal.
Just had a long think about your question.