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This small, cute guy is one of the most deadly animals in the ocean. It likes to hang out on shallow reefs. And while you were snorkeling, it bit you. Now you only have a few minutes before its venom kills you.

These tiny tentacled killers are most often found along the southern coast of Australia. A blue-ringed octopus is about 4-6 cm (1.5-2 in) long. But in its tiny body, it carries enough venom to kill 26 human adults in a few minutes.

And there isn’t any antidote yet for this venomous bite. So, why should you pay attention to the octopus’ colors? What would its venom do to your body? And how can it attack you on dry land?


Step 1. Beware of its colors

The blue-ringed octopus gets its name from the iridescent blue marks that embellish its body. But be wary of its beautiful colors. Those ring-like marks are only visible when the animal is about to release its deadly poison. These octopuses release tetrodotoxin, a fast-acting poison that will block your nerves from sending messages throughout your body. You’ll be fully conscious but unable to move.

Step 2. Keep your hands to yourself

The blue-ringed octopus tends to camouflage itself. So you should pay special attention while touching things near the ocean.Aaron Hodgson was picking up shells on a beach in Newcastle, Australia. Then he felt a sting on his hand.When he threw the shells back into the water he noticed a blue-ringed octopus among them.


Five minutes after the bite he started to feel like the inside of his chest was filling with cold water. His vision went blurry and his heart rate jumped up. Luckily, a person nearby got him to a hospital, where it took about a week for him to recover.

Step 3. Learn CPR

If someone near you gets bitten by a blue-ringed octopus, they might lose their sense of smell and motor skills. But the most dangerous part comes a few minutes later. Their respiratory muscles will stop working. Now, the most important thing is to keep the victim’s respiratory system working.

The only way to save that person is to perform CPR immediately. That’ll help them breathe until medical help arrives. And they’d better hurry, as being intubated quickly could make the difference between life and death.


Step 4. Wear shoes

In 2018, fisherman Mitchell Ogg was working on Garden Island in Australia when a blue-ringed octopus bit him. The mollusk had attached itself to a crayfish pot he pulled up into his boat. He didn’t see the octopus until it stung his barefoot. Luckily, navy paramedics were nearby and provided help until he was taken to a hospital. He was released after one day. In most cases, the octopus bites when people handle or step on it. So wearing shoes can keep you safer.

Step 5. Keep swimming

If you spot a blue-ringed octopus, it’s likely to swim away from you. But if it feels threatened, a blue-ringed octopus will use its eight arms filled with muscular suckers to stick to your body. And it’ll bite you. They aren’t aggressive animals, and they don’t see the need to interact with you or other creatures. So keep swimming, and don’t harass or handle them.


You survived a blue-ringed octopus bite. But it isn’t the only venomous marine creature out there. Do you know that a stingray’s tail could pierce a wooden boat? But don’t worry, there’s a special dance you can do to avoid being attacked by one.


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