World’s Venomous Sea Animal: The Blue-ringed Octopus

Imagine this :

First you feel nauseous. Then, your vision becomes hazy. Within seconds you are blind. You lose your sense of touch, you cannot speak or swallow. Three minutes later you are paralyzed and unable to breathe.

All this because of a blue-ringed octopus, an animal a size of a golf ball that packs one of the most venomous venom on earth.


There are at least 5 different species of this octopus and they can be found in tide pools of the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Australia. Even though the size is small, the blue-ringed octopus’ poison not only can kill one human but 26 adult humans in a matter of minutes. The venom is 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide. To date, there is no antidote to this venom. The only treatment would be hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poison has worked its way out of the victim’s system.

I first heard about this octopus when I was watching NCIS on TV the other day and thought it is amazing that a tiny little thing can kill so fast, even before you can make out what it really is.

The octopus will only show it’s blue rings when it is about to attack. The poison contains in the saliva which comes from two glands that is as big as its brain – each. Poison from one of the gland is used on its main prey such as crabs, hermit crabs and shrimps where it is pretty harmless to humans while the other gland serves as defense from predators. The octopus either secretes the poison in the vicinity of its prey and wait until it is immobile before devouring it, or it jumps out and envelops the prey in its 8 tentacles and bites it.

Amazing, is it not, something so small can also turn into a killing machine in such short notice? Check out the video and learn more about this interesting creature.

Just be careful. Don’t go and pick up something on the ocean floor just because it looks pretty!

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