Wild Fact #330 – Back Off! – Blue Ringed Octopus
Today’s Wild Fact was suggested by one of our faithful readers, Samantha, who thought it would be a good idea if we learned about a stunning creature known as the Blue Ringed Octopus. I have to agree with her, it is a great idea to devote Wild Fact #330 to the Blue Ringed Octopus and I guarantee you will agree by the time you finish reading today’s post. Just to make sure you keep reading, this particular octopus is known as one of the world’s most venomous marine animals and has the ability to kill a human with just one touch.
Worlds Most Venomous Marine Animal
Sure the Blue Ringed Octopus is smaller and typically a docile creature but this doesn’t mean you can take their size and good nature attitude for granted. If this species of octopus decides it is threatened, they will not hesitate to attack. Typically, the bite of this marine predator doesn’t hurt and in many cases, you won’t even know you have been bitten…..although you realize this pretty quickly when you stop breathing. Yes, the Blue Ringed Octopus carries enough venom to kill 26 people within minutes, so please be careful. The toxin they are injecting into your body is about 10, 000 times stronger than cyanide and usually paralyzes your entire body including your lungs. If someone gets bitten by this beautiful animal, make sure you continuously perform artificial respiration until they regain feeling, which can take several hours. They say, if you live through the first 24 hours, you will probably survive the bite of this deadly creature. I personally wouldn’t risk it so try not to get to close during your next dive.
Colour Changing Octopus
This venom isn’t only used on humans and would be attackers. The Blue Ringed Octopus also uses it to subdue small prey items such as fish, crabs and even shrimp. I am guessing the small shrimp wouldn’t even see it coming! Once the prey is paralyzed, the octopus can take their time in feeding on their scrumptious meal. Much like other octopi, this species also relies heavily on camouflage to hide from predators and to catch unsuspecting prey. They are able to change the colour of their skin in order to blend in with the environment. However, once the Blue Ringed Octopus is provoked they will quickly turn from their camouflaged colour into a bright yellow with blue rings. This is basically your one and only warning signal and I recommend you heed the advice of the octopus and get out of there as quickly as possible.