Despite its size, the blue ringed octopus bite can kill 26 adult humans within minutes, with no known antivenom available. Pay attention, because we’ll show you how to survive an attack.
What is it?
The blue ringed octopus, or genus Hapalochlaena, is a tiny sea creature ranging from only 5 to 8 inches long when their arms are fully extended. At full maturity, their bodies are about as big as a golf ball. They’re characterized by yellowish skin with 50-60 blue rings covering their bodies. Despite their small size, they’re extremely dangerous to humans.
Where are they located?
Blue-ringed octopuses are found in the Pacific & Indian Oceans, from Japan all the way down to Australia. They reside in shallow, sandy areas such as tide pools and coral reefs.
How will it kill you?
The blue ringed octopus releases an extremely deadly neurotoxin into your system called tetrodotoxin, the same venom that’s found in poison dart frogs. You don’t even have to be bit for the venom to enter your bloodstream, as it can pass directly through your skin from prolonged contact with the octopus. When it’s becomes aggravated, the blue-ringed octopus will start changing colors. Tetrodotoxin from an octopus kills primarily through paralysis, and the onset of its symptoms will appear within minutes. Victims will first experience motor paralysis and respiratory arrest, followed by death due to cardiac arrest caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.
How to survive:
The tetrodotoxin from a blue-ringed octopus often causes severe or total paralysis within minutes of exposure. Therefore it’s extremely important to provide artificial respiration immediately through the use of CPR or a bag valve mask, since the victim will shortly be unable to breathe on their own. Once a professional medical team arrives, they will be placed on a medical ventilator until the toxin is completely removed from their body. Those who survive the first 24 hours usually manage to make a full recovery.
Which character in the 1983 James Bond film “Octopussy” has a blue-ringed octopus tattoo?
Magda, who seduced Bond in the film, has a blue ringed octopus tattoo that symbolizes her alliance with Octopussy’s Octopus Cult.