A tourist in Australia has gone viral after posting a video of themself holding a blue-ringed octopus. But it hasn’t gone viral just because the animal is beautiful. The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most venomous creatures in Australia and the unnamed tourist is lucky to be alive.
The chilling video, which appears to have been originally posted to TikTok, found its way to Reddit over the weekend where Australians started to point out just how dangerous it was to handle a blue-ringed octopus. Commenters shared their own stories about the animal, which reportedly carries enough venom to kill 26 full grown adults in a span of minutes.
The venom of the blue-ringed octopus, which contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, causes paralysis and the sting is so small that most people have no idea that they’ve been poisoned until it’s too late.
To make things even more horrifying, there’s no anti-venom available for the blue-ringed octopus. The only known treatment is to massage the victim’s heart until the venom works its way throughout a person’s body in a matter of hours.
One person on Reddit even told the story of an unnamed victim who had been paralyzed on the beach with their eyes open while facing the sun.
“They survived, but nobody had really thought about the fact they’d been staring up into full midday sunlight for a couple of hours throughout the process with their eyes wide open, pupils fully dilated,” the Redditer said. “Total paralysis, easy for the first-aiders to not think to cover their eyes. Caused irreversible damage. They permanently lost their vision.”
Australia gets a bad rap for having dangerous animals, but most locals believe that the fear is overblown. It’s not overblown when it comes to the blue-ringed octopus though. If you see one in the water, let it be.