The Blue Ring Octopus

"Beautiful As Long As You Don't Touch!"

The blue ring octopus is a beautiful but deadly fish.

It has a distinctive yellow skin with blue and black rings. It is however not that big – only the size of a golf ball so you could inadvertently miss it.

Key Facts About This Octopus

It is generally a very docile creature but has one of the most deadliest venom on the planet. It has enough venom to kill 26 people.

They prefer to eat crabs and shrimps rather than humans. They like to pounce on their prey, inject venom into them and then use their beaks to break the fish into smaller pieces.

The female carries the eggs of its unborn offspring under its arms and once born she dies 3 – 6 months later. This puts their lifespan at about 2 years.

Where To Avoid Them

They are generally found in the southern parts of western Australia, South Australia, the coast of New South Wales, Southern Queensland and the Northern parts of Tasmania.

So generally, you need to be on the look out wherever you are in Australian waters!

The Blue Ring Octopus' Sting

If the blue ring octopus is about to pounce it gives a warning by lighting up its blue circles. It basically means it feels threatened. It’s likely too late if you see them glowing but get out of there as quickly as you can!

Generally it is only when one is picked up or disturbed that they go to strike. You can look but don’t touch!

What are the symptoms if you are stung?

The bite itself is fairly minimal with little pain. Within just a few seconds you can experience a loss of feeling. Vomiting, loss of vision, loss of sense of touch, speech and the ability to swallow are all common. Within 3 minutes you can become totally paralysed and your body can go into cardiac arrest.

Number of Deaths

There have only been 2 reported deaths in Australia.

First Aid: How To Treat A Sting

Get to hospital as soon as possible.(Dial 000)

If the victim is in cardiac arrest then undertake CPR.

Use a pressure immobilisation bandage as per a snake bite.

Mechanical ventilation at hospital may be required for a few days until the toxins have disappeared from the blood.

There is no anti venom for this octopus. Show me more dangerous Australian animals

Australian Animals

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