when tiny, pretty octopus attack!

More serious than it sounds.

Blue Ringed Octopus on toddler prowl

Honestly, what it is with Australians? I heart Steve Irwin and all, but is it something in the gene pool or something in the water that makes them go, “Crikey, it’s a deadly wild animal. I’m gonna down me a few Foster’s and then make friends with it!???

Steve, I told you not to do that!

In this case, some Outback Sheila saw her toddlers playing with the “Blue-Ringed Octopus” and apparently didn’t clue in from that there might be some danger involved.

A THREE-year-old Brisbane boy is lucky to be alive after being bitten by a blue ringed octopus at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe on Saturday.

Minutes after little Anthony Cerasa and his siblings were playing with the octopus, he complained to his mother that he “couldn’t walk” and was rushed to hospital.

Apparently he’ll live, but ICU is no place for a toddler, even one from that shallow gene pool. Let’s get some background info on the deadly critter, both for purely informational purposes and because we here at the raincoaster blog are far more interested in deadly sea creatures and cephalopods in particular than we are in Australian children, however towheaded and cute.

The blue ring octupus is quite small and beautiful but extremely poisonous. A bite from one acts so quickly that death may occur before a diver can even make it out of the water. Still, this octopus is a master of disguise and is rarely seen even though it is not uncommon. The blue rings are only displayed as a warning of its lethal bite. Otherwise it is a pale color.

and a little more, from Did You Know:

The world’s most poisonous octopus is the size of a golf ball

First you will feel nauseous. Your vision becomes he is watching! Cthulhu fhtagnhazy. Within seconds you are blind. You loose your sense of touch. You cannot speak or swallow. Three minutes later you are paralysed and unable to breathe…The last thing the victim sees are the blue rings – visible only when it is about to attack.

The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball but its poison is powerful enough to kill an adult human in minutes. There’s no known antidote. The only treatment is hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poison has worked its way out of your system…

There are two species of blue-ringed octopus: the blue ringed octopus, still hunting toddlersHapalochlaena lunulata, which is the larger and grows up to 20cm (8 in) across its stretched tentacles. The other, the Hapalochlaena maculosa, is small and more common, weighing a mere 28 grams (1 oz). They are found in the shallow coral and rock pools of Australia. And they’re rather cute, being brown or yellow in colour. But don’t pick one up – by the time you see the electric-blue rings, it’s too late!

43 thoughts on “when tiny, pretty octopus attack!

  1. I offered to go for a drink with him when I get back to London, he’s up for it. I reckon he’ll be a laugh. I’ll try and refrain from poisoning him, perhaps just get him a bit tipsy.

  2. It’s nothing to do with the gene pool–which strongly resembles your own (mostly Irish, English, and Scots of varying degrees of conviction–at least for the first century-plus).

    It’s the fact that Australia has all the poisonous spiders, snakes, reptiles, jellyfish, vertabrates, invertebrates … it can handle, and a fairly outdoorsy human populace as well. Most of these lethal little beggars are unobtrusive–to the point that you simply don’t noitce them until your limbs swell to the size of barrels and you begin to spew foam.

    If you’re an Aussie mum you can either wrap your toddlers in tinfoil and store them in the basement (mind the redbacks), or you can quit worrying and do your best.

    The bites of the most poisonous snakes in Oz will kill you within seconds. The funnelweb spider can kill an adult within an hour. The box jellyfish’s stings can kill (though it’s a prolonged and unpleasant death). Saltwater crocodiles can erupt from still water and gobble you before you notice. So your kid probably won’t suffer long (except for the jellyfish).

    So is it odd that an Aussie kid gets bitten once in a while? Not really. It’s far more astounding that more people don’t die from Aussie wildlife encounters.

    Of course one does get the odd idiot. Complete and total idiot. Outright imbecile such as Gordon Lyons, in fact.

    I saw the original story in a clipping in Darwin, appropriately enough. Lyons was actually much less accepting than the story linked would have you believe. He was quoted as saying “I can’t believe they cut my ****ing arm off! I just paid for that tattoo!”

  3. Ya ya ya. I grew up in Canada. You remember Canada, right? Bears, wolves, wolverines, rattlesnakes, Giant Pacific Octopi, killer whales, etc, all of which I have seen in the wild and all of which my mother warned me against playing with.

    He was playing with the poisonous octopus with his siblings and his mother. My mother is, ergo, smarter than his mother. Gene Pool Superiority: QED.

  4. hey, i knew about that octopus. anyone who is a james bond fan will know all about that little creature because of the “Octopussy” episode which is the only time that a bond woman appears twice. maud adams plays octopussy, the great french ham, louis jourdan and roger moore. she also was in “the man with the golden gun.”

    anyway, she and bond have a small conversation about the little 8 limbed creature and a baddie dies when his face is smashed through the aquarium and the octopus ends up attached on his face ala “alien.”

    i didn’t know that the little beastie wasn’t always blazing the blue though. australia has the most amazing creatures. i’m amazed that anyone manages to survive there with all the poisonous creatures there.

    i’d rather live in a country that has rattle snakes (at least those you can hear and they don’t chase you down like one aussie snake does), tornadoes, and plough winds than live where i have the chance of dying just by not checking my shoes for spiders laying in wait.

  5. Okay, you folks can bitch all you want at each other about which is more dangerous, the Canuck or Aussie wildlife (I’d vote for Oz, just ’cause the danger is a little creepier, in all senses of the word. Spiders & snakes…enough said!)

    Anyway! I just want to comment about that lovely video — the little thing is just moseing about his day, trying to ignore the diver with camera, with a quiet instrumental soundtrack…truly lovely. Thanks.

  6. Lori: I agree about the video. It’s just one of those small delights that are sprinkled among all the drunken karaoke on YouTube. Must disagree about Aussie danger being creepier: Are crocs or Octopi creepier? I think you were on holiday when I posted the vid of the Octopus attacking the submarine, but that was taken not far from here. EW!

    Naomi, thanks for that. I’d utterly forgotten about Bond! But you’re forgetting about Casino Royale, although it’s possible that it doesn’t count. Still, Ursula Andress slinked very well in both her Bond movies.

    But sometimes you don’t hear rattlesnakes, like the time I sat down on the sleeping bag and woke one up.

  7. They’re poisonous and amazing, but we live near (or around) them, and we bear with it! :) Which is worth it here :)

  8. Metro Said [of the aussies]:

    ‘It’s nothing to do with the gene pool–which strongly resembles your own (mostly Irish, English, and Scots of varying degrees of conviction–at least for the first century-plus).

    Yes Metro, but their gene pool is made up almost in its entirity of various criminal class types whos presence was no longer seen as beneficial to the Northern Hemesphere.

    The Aussie leadership is now so concerned about the average inhabitants tendancy to be a complete and utter waste of space that they have commissioned a ‘skills shortage strategy’ and have set up a website called http://www.getatrade.gov.au

    How terribly un PC, in the UK we call our department for giving lazy dole-wellers a kick up the ass ‘the new deal’.

  9. How terribly unoriginal. The Americans have had a New Deal for so long they’ve almost finished dismantling it! At least the Aussies came up with a new name. Of course, they could solve their shortage of skilled workers by allowing immigration, but that would let the brown people in and they can’t have that!

  10. First off, bears are cute and cubbly. Or cuddly, whichever. Heck, they’re almost civilised when compared to for example, Drop Bears

    Killer whales–come on! You’re gonna set Free Willy against Jaws? As a scuba diver, I know which one I’d prefer to run into.

    Rattlesnakes. D’you mean those ones whose bite you might survive? The ones who announce that they’re about to strike? Don’t get many of them in Oz. Of the ten most poisonous snakes on earth, Australia has nine of them. Oh–and that’s just terrestrial snakes. Ask me about a sea snake sometime.

    Or hoop snakes.

    When was the last time a Drop Bear popped over to your house for afternoon tea?

    And Steven–you’ve mixed it up, mate. That “dregs of society” nonsense is for pommies. I mean, best bloody country in the world (tied with Canada)–who’re you gonna hand it off to? Of course they had to write stuff about “miserable conditions” and “transported for life”. Otherwise the entire bloody world would’ve turned up, right?

    Take a look around–you’ll soon figure out where the criminal classes are.

    Oh–and we have that “skills shortage strategy” here too. And I know Britain’s demographic crunch closely mirrors ours. So what’s your point?

  11. “Ours.”

    There you have it. You can take the boy out of Oz, but … he doesn’t know enough geography to know that he’s been living in another country long enough to almost entirely lose his accent.

    It turned up in his wedding vows. I can hear it in his typing.

    Come to think of it, does this mean Lori is married to an Aussie but NOT to a Canadian? She should be told. I think it’s time to call Oprah.

  12. You can hear it in my typing?

    Auditory hallucinations as well? Haven’t I told you to lay off the cheap stuff?

    Yes “ours”–Canada’s. Who d’yer think I meant then? Noticed the adverts shilling people into trades lately? If I’d dropped out of school two years sooner the world would be my oyster!

    Of course I’d have spent the rest of the eighties doing time in hamburger hell …

  13. Surely you don’t think that I have any shame about how I spent the Eighties, do you? I have even less dignity than you do.

    Have fun playing with your oyster, but be careful reaching for the pearl.

  14. Amateur pearl-diver, ma’am. Highly skilled at teasing the pearl out.

    As for how you spent the Eighties, you should be discreet–aren’t you still in the Jehovah’s Witness protection Program?

  15. You’re supposed to leave the pearl where you found it, though. Dismemberment (so to speak) isn’t part of the process.

    Oh, you’re speaking GAY metaphor. My mistake!

  16. Pingback: Back away from the platypus! « The Oyster’s Garter

  17. I didn’t assign you any assignment. Are you working for the octopus? Does he pay very well? You certainly wouldn’t want to piss him off, I’m telling you.

  18. Hello

    I have a Hapalochlaena lunulata and she/he (don’t know yet) is beautiful (FYI I live in Australia) I am well aware of her toxins and can only say that “If you give it the chance, it’ll take it” aside that magnificant animals.


  19. I regularly eat octopi in large quanties. This may be why I do not see too sell and cannot walk more than three feet without falling down. I thought I had a brain tumor or something. But when I told the doctor that I ate octopus for lunch and dinner without de-sacking the poison sack, he told me I was crazier than my name. “Hey, I told the wankgler, don’t make fun of me folks. They gave me me name, Joseph Dirt to toughen me up. And I was fed octopus and dog meat by age four. I see no reason why folks should not be able to eat what they want. I don’t mind falling down a lot because I always wear a helmut to protect me head. Oi there mate.

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  24. Pingback: Dude, we tried to tell you! « raincoaster

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