Two British packers who went fishing in Australia can consider themselves lucky to be alive after they stupidly played with a tiny blue-ringed octopus – a deadly creature whose painless bite has enough venom to kill 26 adults in minutes.
The video went viral on Facebook, which shows Ross Saunders and Johnpaul Lennon letting a blue-ringed octopus touch their skin and dangling it around, completely unaware that a single bite could have resulted in a painful death.
They had been fishing in Australia when they caught the yellow and blue spotted octopus, and instead of keeping their distance they decided to start playing with it, dangling it on to their bare arms while laughing.
“Been an interesting two day introduction to fishing. Watched two amazing sunsets, saw dolphins and caught a blue-ringed octopus, one of the most dangerous animals in the world and didn’t even realise.”
The blue-ringed octopus may look rather innocent, but it’s one of Australia’s most dangerous animals, carrying enough venom in it’s small body to kill 26 humans.
The scary thing is people may not even feel that they have been bitten, but within minutes the deadly symptoms start to show.
According to the Australian Museum website:
“Because of the small size of the injecting apparatus, the ‘bite’ may not be felt, however within minutes symptoms include numbness of the lips and tongue, difficulty in breathing, followed by complete paralysis of the breathing muscles. Victims appear to lose consciousness as they cannot respond to their name being called.”
It’s bright blue spots only tend to be visible when the octopus feels threatened or agitated, so it seems the backpackers came very close to being bitten.
Johnpaul Lennon, who reportedly shot the video, said:
“He’s been trying to get pictures of all animals.. koalas.. all that kind of stuff and he wanted a picture with the octopus on his arm. I didn’t know at the time was it dangerous and everybody told me ‘no’ so I thought it would’ve been all right to get a photo.”
“Even when he said it was dangerous we didn’t realise how dangerous it was,” Saunders confirmed. “It’s been on my mind constantly just thinking like.. ‘what could’ve happened’”.
The video has resulted in a lot of negative feedback, mostly commenting on how stupid they were and how close they came to death.
One person wrote: “You could’ve died. Have no common sense about the dangerous animals, creatures and mammals Australia has”.
Another commented: “Can’t believe he put that on his arm. If it bites you, it paralysis you and you stop breathing within minutes”.