Over the Australia Day long weekend, a tourist visiting Australia made headlines across the country when they picked up a blue-ringed octopus from the beach. Seemingly not realising the danger they were placing themselves in, the tourist then uploaded a video of the octopus cupped in their hands with the text ‘Such a pretty octopus’ over the video.
In the end, the tourist placed the octopus back in the water without incident. Which is lucky, because a blue-ringed octopus bite carries enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes.
In the case of a blue-ringed octopus bite, it may not be immediately apparent, especially if you have stepped on the octopus. Unlike the sting of jellyfish or bites of other marine animals, a blue-ringed octopus bite may not hurt initially and even can make the area numb.
After 5 minutes, the victim may have blurred vision, nausea and difficulty swallowing.
After 10 minutes and without medical treatment, the victim will start to have trouble breathing and suffer paralysis. If medical assistant is still not administered, the victim will then go into respiratory failure which will likely lead to cardiac arrest and death.
FIRST AID FOR BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS BITE
The bite of a blue-ringed octopus is definitely classified as an emergency, so the first thing that must happen is to call the paramedics on 000.
Until paramedics arrive, apply a pressure bandage to the area as soon as possible to slow the spread of toxin around the body. Keep the victim calm and lying down. Do not give the victim any food or water.
As one of the most recognised venomous creatures in the world, it’s better to avoid coming into contact with an octopus, which is why it is definitely a bad idea to pick one up.