A TikToker’s blue-ringed octopus discovery at one of Sydney’s most popular swimming beaches has gone viral, along with her serious warning on the highly venomous animal.
The young mum, a US expat living in Australia, spotted the deadly sea creature in a rockpool at Bronte Beach.
“Yesterday I was sitting and minding my own damn business, trying to enjoy the view, and I see this little fella,” she said.
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“Surely that can’t be, yep, no that’s a blue-ringed octopus — this little fella, he’ll kill ya.
“This is where people swim down at the Bronte bogey hole, and he was just here having a gay old time.
“So yeah, just don’t touch him.”
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The species has bacteria in its salivary glands which produces a fast acting and fatal toxin which prevents the victim’s nervous system from transferring messages in the body.
“The paralysis that overcomes the victim is only to their voluntary muscles; they remain fully conscious. Death usually occurs as a result of lack of oxygen,” according to the Australia Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).
While people have come close to death, only three recorded blue-ringed octopus fatalities have occurred, according to AIMS: two in Australia and one in Singapore.
A Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au: “Be extremely careful when exploring rock pools and never pick up creatures you find.
“Blue-ringed octopuses are small and well camouflaged, but they have enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes.
“If bitten, call triple-0 immediately and apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to the site, in the same way you would a snake bite. If breathing difficulties and paralysis occurs, CPR may be necessary until help arrives.”
A TikToker has warned swimmers at Bronte Beach after spotting a blue-ringed octopus in the rock pools. Credit: @bababarrrt/TikTokBlue-ringed octopus only bite and display their blue rings when threatened, and have enough venom to kill 26 adults in minutes. Credit: @bababarrrt/TikTok
A bite from the blue-ringed octopus is rare because they are a shy creature and usually hide under rocks and seaweed during the day, according to AIMS.
“They are retiring creatures and will only bite if they are being harassed and poked,” AIMS said.
However, this is not completely uncommon — because the iconic blue rings only appear when the animal feels threatened, some people have admitted to antagonising them to make their vibrant colours appear.
“We used to tease them to watch them turn blue as kids,” one netizen commented on the TikToker’s post.
“My mum used to do this as a kid,” another added. “Let’s not poke highly venomous animals.”