Blue-Ringed Octopus (aka
Blue Ring Octopus)
only dangerous octopus in the world cruises the waters of Australia.
Fully grown these marine animals are smaller than your hand, 10-20cm
(4-8") in diameter with tentacles extended and a yellow/brown
colour, perhaps with brown bands.
When angry brilliant blue rings appear on its body, though that
may be too late to warn you or your children.
It's often found near the shoreline or in rocky pools, hunting
If it's picked up or trodden on it'll bite with a little beak
in the mid-underside of its body.
The bite may not be noticed immediately, but pain followed by
severe breathing difficulties, nausea and paralysis will clarify
matters soon enough.
Death is rare but not unknown.
The Blue-Ringed Octopus also releases venom into the water surrounding
Don't touch, poke, play with or stand on any blobby animals near
or on beach in Australia. Whether they are Jellyfish or Blue Rings
they won't do you any good!
Within ten minutes of the bite, nausea, vomiting, extreme pain,
vision problems, numbness, muscular weakness, severe breathing
difficulties, nausea and floppy paralysis.
reassure the victim and keep him/her still.
• quickly wrap a light bandage above and below the bite (if you
can't get two fingers under the bandage, it's too tight).
• Immobilize/splint the bitten area and keep it at heart level
(gravity-neutral) if possible. Too high causes venom to travel
to the heart, too low causes more swelling.
• Do not drink alcohol, or take any medicine or food.
• Take victim to medical facilities urgently.
• You may have to assist with mouth-mouth ventilation.
is no known antivenom to the Blue-Ringed/Blue Ring Octopus.
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stonefish is found all over the world, including in cold European
waters, but it's more common and vicious in warm waters. The small,
well-camouflaged stonefish snuggles under the sand in shallow
water leaving poisonous spines sticking up ready for an unwary
There are no safety measures you can take except wear some kind
of sand shoes/sandals. You won't see this dangerous animal till
it's too late.
Immediate excruciating pain, followed by swelling of the foot.
Muscle weakness, paralysis and dying skin may follow.
The pain will subside after a day, though the swelling may take
longer to disappear.
Not usually life threatening but a very unpleasant experience.
(the same for most stinging fish)
Immerse the area in hot water, take a pain killer and head for
A tetanus shot and X-rays may be needed to check for Stonefish
spine fragments still in the victim. A more serious pain killer
would probably be appreciated too!
Attacks | Crocodile
and Alligator Attacks | Scorpion
Stings | Snake
and Wasp Stings | Bear Attacks | Shark
Attacks | Jellyfish
Do you have any advice or anecdotes?