Teen Cheats Death After Bite From ‘Extremely’ Poisonous Octopus


A teenager in Australia nearly died from a poison octopus’ bite after he pocketed a seaside souvenir. 18-year-old Jacob Ettington was hunting for shells at Shoalwater Beach, near Perth, local outlet 7News reported. Hoping to gift his young niece something memorable, Ettington retrieved a particularly entrancing seashell and ferried it back to camp in one of his pockets. As he pulled the shell out, a blue-ringed octopus emerged and bit Ettington on his leg.

“As soon as he saw the octopus, he yelled really loud. I grabbed [our niece],” Jacob’s brother, Joshua, told the station.

Luckily, the octopus didn’t get a very good grip on Jacob before it chomped down. The CDC warns that the blue-ringed octopus can transmit “extremely potent poison” with a well-placed bite.

“That’s probably one of the more traumatic thoughts to think—what could have happened,” Joshua reflected. “He did get bit, but he also probably saved one of his nieces’ or nephews’ lives.”

Jacob was immediately taken by paramedics to a local hospital, where he was treated for six hours before being released to his family.

According to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, blue-ringed octopi are incredibly small, measuring only six centimeters at the most. However, their bite conveys “a nasty surprise for any potential prey or predators.”

Venom from a blue-ringed octopus, for which there is no antidote, causes near-instant paralyzation of your voluntary muscles. That means animals and humans who suffer their bite remain fully conscious until their death, which can occur within 30 minutes and typically results from a lack of oxygen, or drowning.

The creatures typically wall themselves off in unseen crevices and are so common in Australia that marine biologist Jennifer Verduan won’t even go swimming without wearing protective shoes. “They’re very good at hiding so we wouldn’t normally see them that often,” she told 7News. “But they are there.”

If you’re bitten by a blue-ringed octopus, you should remain as still as possible and seek medical treatment immediately.

Combing the beach for shells has almost cost a Perth teenager his life. The 18 year old didn’t realise he had picked up a deadly sea creature. @JerrieDemasi #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/rvDwW94mWj

— 7NEWS Perth (@7NewsPerth) December 4, 2023

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