There are a few signs that an animal could be dangerous by looking at its teeth, bright coloration, or anything that resembles a wild animal. However, a woman who recently went viral on TikTok revealed how easy it could be to underestimate small creatures as she unknowingly faced death.
The woman posted a video of herself holding with her bare hands an octopus that she claimed as "the most venomous octopus species in the world," without realizing the real dangers the sea creature posses.
Holding One of the "World's Most Venomous Octopus"
Kate Phillips, with a TikTok username @kaylinmarie21, posted the viral video on March 22 which has now received more than eight million views and over one million likes with 17,000 comments as of March 24.
Phillips said that she unknowingly held the octopus in her bare hands while in Bali. According to Business Insider, a screenshot about the blue-ringed octopus can be seen on the video that confirms that the seemingly harmless octopus is indeed a "highly venomous species."
Philips captioned the video detailing that she was crying when calling her dad when she realized that she held a deathly animal. But then she added that she actually held two of them on the same day and even tried to feed them with oranges and played with them for about 20 minutes.
She said that she was filming a documentary on animal welfare when she and her friends came across the venomous octopus in Bali, the Independent reported. They had some time off during the weekend and decided to go to Uluwatu beach where they saw some interesting wildlife, such as starfish and crabs.
It was not until she posted it on her Instagram Story that she found out that the octopus was venomous.
How Dangerous is a Blue-Ringed Octopus?
According to IFL Science, the blue-ringed octopus is the perfect example of a small but mighty creature with an average body size of 5 to 8 inches (12 to 20 centimeters).
As their name suggests, their bodies are covered with psychedelic blue rings that become more visible when they are provoked. They turn bright yellow and flash their 50 to 60 blue rings when they get stressed, an indication that they should not be messed around.
It is their defense mechanism that would let predators know that they are not the snack that they want to eat. They possess harmful toxins that can envenomate attackers or curious hands that touch them.
Known as tetrodotoxin, this powerful neurotoxin could be fatal. But fortunately, the blue-ringed octopus is not an aggressive animal. So as long as they are given their own space they will not attack.
Marine ecologist Erin Spencer said that the bite of a blue-ringed octopus is painless and that anyone bitten by it might not know until it is too late.
She added that once bitten, the venom will block nerve signals and will cause numbness. Then, the person will feel nauseous, lose their vision, senses, and motor skills. Ultimately, the person will be paralyzed that will lead to respiratory arrest.
Unfortunately, there is no known antidote for venom. Victims of the blue-ringed octopus can be saved if artificial respiration is immediately started.
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