Dangerous Animal Of The Week: Blue-Ringed Octopus

This is a recurring PGP series. Catch up with all installments of Dangerous Animal Of The Week by visiting the archive.


Every week, we take a look at one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Avoid these gnarly creatures, and stay safe out there in the wild.

The ocean is a wondrous, majestic place. It is also a dangerous hell hole filled with all manner of murderous creatures that will gladly end your pathetic existence without thinking twice. The blue-ringed octopus perfectly represents this polarizing nature of the deep blue sea.

Roughly the size of a golf ball, it gets its name from the psychedelic blue rings that appear when it becomes alarmed or threatened. That trippy shit probably warns other sea creatures to stay away, but it just makes the blue-ringed octopus all the more enticing to dumbass humans. We just can’t help ourselves. We see something pretty and we just have to fucking touch. Idiots!

They inhabit tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from Australia to Japan, and primarily feast upon small crustaceans like crabs, shrimp and small injured fish.

Unfortunately for us, the venom they use to hunt and incapacitate their prey for consumption is incredibly deadly to Homo sapiens, and they carry enough of it to kill twenty-six adult humans. And, of course, there is no antivenom. Neat!

What is so scary about a damn blue-ringed octopus?

The aforementioned venom is often 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide, and you could easily be bitten by one of these little buggers without even noticing. The blue-ringed octopus’ bite is so small, and often painless, that a tiny drop of blood might be the only immediately noticeable result. This makes it difficult for medical personal to figure out what the fuck is wrong with you while your body fails at a terrifying pace. There is even speculation regarding whether or not they have to bite in order to envenomate a human. The crazy ass venom might just pass directly through your skin if you’re in contact with it for long enough, which is mother fucking fantastic.

Within several minutes, a victim of this venom will experience muscle numbness and weakness, difficulty breathing and swallowing, nausea, vomiting, possibly hallucinations (tight), eventual paralyzation, difficulty speaking, respiratory failure, unconsciousness and death by cerebral anoxia (sexiest way to die). Victims have reported being conscious but unable to speak or move (I will have all of the nightmares tonight) while under the spell of this powerful venom, even appearing clinically dead with dilated and fixed pupils.

In summation, if bitten by a blue-ringed octopus, all of the bad things in the world will happen to you. You will probably soil yourself. I didn’t find evidence of that anywhere, just guessing.


If you do happen to get to the hospital in time after being bitten by a blue-ringed octopus, you’ll immediately be hooked up to a ventilator that will have to do your breathing for you as your diaphragm is paralyzed, and then the waiting game begins. It could be more than 12 hours before you can breath safely on your own and they can remove the ventilator.

In my professional opinion, you should strongly consider heading to the top of a mountain where as few animals as possible reside for vacation instead of hitting the beach. If you absolutely must go to the beach because your wife is bitching at you or something, stay as far away from the water as you can. And keep an eye on any seagulls that come too close as they may be carrying a blue-ringed octopus to throw at you.


What should I do if I encounter a blue-ringed octopus?

Don’t touch it, you foolish baboon. Swim as fast as you can, as far as you can, and get the hell away from that beautiful little sea demon. Then strip butt ass naked and inspect your entire body for anything that even remotely resembles a bite. If you think there is even a tiny off-chance you were bitten (there 100% definitely is), seek medical attention immediately while screaming like a banshee. This will ensure that medical personnel take you seriously and respect you.

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Ross Bolen

Ross Bolen is a New York Times Bestselling author, co-host of the Oysters, Clams & Cockles: Game of Thrones podcast, co-host of the Back Door Cover sports podcast, 2017 Masters attendee, bigger and more loyal Rockets, Astros and Texans fan than you, cheese enchilada aficionado, and nap god.

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