The Blue-Ringed Octopus Might Be The Most Dangerous Of Its Kind

Not every animal you encounter wishes you well. There are plenty of dangerous creatures out there, with the blue-ringed octopus being one of the worst. It’s believed that no other marine life packs more of a punch than this one. What exactly makes the blue-ringed octopus so fearsome, though?

They have powerful venom

It’s usually not hard to tell when there’s a blue-ringed octopus nearby because their appearance is so distinctive. There’s no mistaking the creature’s bright coloring, an aspect that’s intended to ward off predators. The animal’s blue rings become more vivid when the octopus feels threatened, a final warning sign before they start fighting back. With venom reportedly 1,000 times stronger than cyanide, humans stand very little chance of surviving an encounter with these creatures. In fact, a single octopus is capable of ending over 20 lives in just a few minutes with the amount of venom it contains.

A bite can stop you from breathing

There are plenty of unpleasant ways to leave this world, and a bite from a blue-ringed octopus is one of them. If this creature attacks you, it’ll fill your body with tetrodotoxin, which blocks your body’s nerve signals. This causes a person to go limp and affects their diaphragm, causing them to stop breathing. No antivenom currently exists for this, meaning immediate medical assistance is essential for survival if you’re bitten. Your ability to breathe can vanish in a matter of minutes, so it truly is a race against time.

They only attack when provoked

Despite their ability to claim so many lives, these animals aren’t necessarily vengeful creatures. According to marine zoologist Peter Morse, you’d typically have to provoke a blue-ringed octopus quite significantly for it to attack. They are apparently shy and nocturnal, and they give plenty of warning if they feel threatened. Unfortunately, because many people find them very visually appealing, they don’t realize that their vivid colors are a sign of danger.

They attack their prey through various techniques

One reason why these creatures aren’t always quick to attack humans is that they want to save their venom for actual prey. This stuff plays a vital part in how they take down other marine life, such as crabs and prawns. They use their venom in several different ways, including releasing a cloud of it into the water so that other creatures breathe it in through their gills. They also sometimes leap onto prey and break their shells before injecting their venom. Obviously, this makes them incredibly powerful against whatever they take on. However, that doesn’t mean they often tackle creatures much bigger than them. They understand the risks of doing this, so they typically focus on animals the same size or smaller than them.

A bite from a blue-ringed octopus is definitely something you want to avoid at all costs. Fortunately, these creatures are only native to the Pacific Ocean and aren’t likely to attack unless you’re particularly stubborn. So, while they can be fearsome creatures, you’re probably not in any immediate danger from them.