Deadly sea creature spotted on Aussie beach: blue-ringed octopus

An Aussie dad is speaking up after his son had a near-death experience at an Aussie beach, after accidentally encountering a deadly sea creature.

Jason Tolley from Perth, was snorkelling and collecting sea shells with his son at Point Peron in Western Australia last week, stumbling upon a blue-ringed octopus hiding inside one of the shells.

In a Facebook post the father wrote about the shocking find, warning others of the hidden dangers at the beach.

“Went snorkelling with the boy and he collected a shell and it had this little guy in it (blue-ringed octopus),” Mr Tolley wrote.

“Very lucky. We are not going to collect any more shells,” he added.

His son had been holding the shell with the blue-ringed octopus for at least 20 minutes, before he showed it to his mum and sister.

Once he put the shells down onto their towels on the shore, the tiny deadly creature crawled out, shocking the family.

“I didn’t even know he had it in his hand,” Mr Tolley wrote.

“Didn’t know it was there. Until it climbed out next to my daughter’s head. Lesson learnt.”

The family released the blue-ringed octopus into the water, but decided not to go back into the water after the incident.

“When I put it back in the water the blue colour on him lit up. We didn’t go back in the water after that,” Mr Tolley explained, “We are not going back there.”

“But kids will be kids and I just hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else and they get bitten.”

“My kids are my world and would be devastated if anything happened to them,” he said.

“We know everything about them now. Sometimes kids learn more outside the classroom than in it.”

“Hopefully everyone will take this one as a warning too,” he said.

The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most venomous sea creatures in the world, with enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes.

At a small size of four to six centimetres long, their bites are tiny and often painless – but the venom is capable of causing respiratory arrest, heart failure, blindness, paralysis and eventually death from suffocation.

The venomous animal is relatively docile, showing their bright rings only when threatened, becoming increasingly dangerous for humans. Blue-ringed octopus can typically be found across the east coast of Australia and throughout Sydney Harbour.

The post quickly got a lot of reactions from horrified Aussies, with many taking to comments to express their shock.

“All the more reason to take nothing but photos! Glad everyone is OK,” one person wrote.

“When will people learn, don’t take shells, they are homes for the sea creatures and an important part of the ocean system,” agreed another.
A third wrote: “The shells at Point Peron are very pretty and I can see the attraction of wanting to take some home, these types of shells where they are open with no hidey holes are the safest to collect.”

“Not many sea critters choose these as they offer no protection from predators. Any other enclosed shell however should be left in the sea for the little critters to make home,” they continued.

“Definitely very lucky, there was a case recently where the swimmer wasn’t so lucky and was stung/bitten.”

“We have to always remember we are guests in the ocean and should always be mindful of the creatures that live there,” one concluded.

Sightings of blue-ringed octopuses have increased in Australia over the summer, with one Aussie teen nearly dying last month after he was bitten by the poisonous animal hiding in a shell he scooped out of the ocean.

The blue-ringed octopus was spotted at Shoalwater Beach in Perth, forcing the teen to inspect his body for bite marks.

He found a painless bite on his foot in a move which ended up saving his life, prompting him to seek urgent medical attention.

He was taken to the hospital, where it took doctors six hours to stabilise the teen after he was carried off the beach on a stretcher.

Experts are urging Aussies to be vigilant at pools, saying the bites from a blue-ringed octopus are painless, with barely visible puncture marks – requiring immediate medical help.

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