Photos by Roy Caldwell
Blue-Ringed Octopus (aka Blue Ring Octopus) Facts
The only dangerous octopus in the world cruises the waters of Australia.
Fully grown these marine animals are usually 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 crabs.
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 it.
Blue-ringed Octopus avoidance
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!
Blue-ringed Octopus Bite Symptoms
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.
There is no known antivenom to the Blue-Ringed/Blue Ring Octopus.