Mum’s dismay after seeing a deadly sea creature swimming near where dozens of children were playing: ‘It was a miracle they didn’t step on it’
- Beachgoers spot blue-ringed octopus on the beach
- Nippers and families played nearby
Families have come alarmingly close to the deadly blue-ringed octopus after a horrified beachgoer saw it floating near the water’s edge in a popular cove.
Dozens of people were swimming in Gunnamatta Bay near Cronulla, in southern Sydney, on Sunday morning when a beachgoer spotted the blue-ringed octopus floating in the net area just meters from a group of pincers.
After telling her husband she had seen the deadly sea creature, he used a toy bucket the kids brought to the beach and scooped the venomous creature out of the water before anyone was hurt.
The pair took photos of the octopus in the bucket before walking to the end of the wharf to release it well away from swimmers.
The photos were uploaded to a local Cronulla Facebook community group to warn others to be vigilant in the area.
A beachgoer used a toy bucket to scoop the venomous creature out of the water before anyone was injured
After taking pictures of the octopus, it was released at the end of the wharf, away from bathers
While sightings of blue rings are not uncommon along the Sydney coast, it still sends shivers down the spines of locals when they see one.
“There were probably like 50 kids in the water for tango training,” the woman who first saw it told me Yahoo News Australia.
“Right where the octopus was, five or six kids were paddling.”
“I was concerned how close it was to where my kids were playing, it was a miracle they didn’t step on it.”
The blue-ringed octopus was meters away from a group of pincers
Dozens of locals swimming in Gunnamatta Bay near Cronulla, in Sydney, when a beachgoer spotted a blue-ringed octopus
Blue-ringed octopuses are not known to be aggressive, but when threatened their namesake blue rings flash across their bodies
Their venom is known to be 1000 times more potent than cyanide and is considered to be one of the strongest on Earth despite their miniscule size, averaging 8cm in length.
The stings of the octopus are painless and difficult to spot because they are so small on the surface of the skin and victims usually don’t know they have been poisoned until the effects are felt – which are often fatal.
What Are Blue Ringed Octopuses?
The bite of the blue-ringed octopus is highly toxic to humans and emergency services should be called immediately if it occurs.
Blue-ringed octopuses are not aggressive animals and most cases of bites come from a person picking up and handling the creature, or stepping on it.
Danger to humans:
It injects its venom by biting – the venom is held in salivary glands and the octopus’s mouth on the underside in the center of the body.
Most bites cause minimal pain for the first 5-10 minutes, then begin to throb and may become numb.
The bite can cause excessive bleeding, nausea, vomiting, vision changes, and difficulty swallowing.
After 10 minutes, the victim may have difficulty breathing, become paralyzed and require artificial respiration until they can be transported to a hospital.
The duration of life-threatening symptoms is usually four to ten hours – after that time, surviving patients typically show rapid signs of improvement.
There is no antidote available for bites from blue-ringed octopuses.