An Aussie beachgoer got the fright of her life when she spotted a deadly sea creature at a popular swimming spot in Sydney. The young woman said she was just “trying to enjoy the view” when she glimpsed a blue-ringed octopus at Bronte beach, in the city’s Eastern Suburbs. Grabbing her camera, she went in for a closer look, filming the animal as it glided through the water and over the rocks.
“Blue-ringed octopuses are small and well camouflaged but they have enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes,” a spokesperson for Surf Life Saving NSW told Yahoo News Australia, urging people to “be careful when exploring rock pools”.
‘He’ll kill you’
Video of the encounter was posted to TikTok on Monday, and has since racked up more than 600,000 views. “So I live in Australia,” the voiceover says in the clip, “and yesterday I was sitting, minding my own damn business, trying to enjoy the view, and I see this little fella and I’m like, that can’t be. Surely, no. Yup, that’s a blue-ringed octopus. This little fella will, he’ll kill you.”
Cutting to a view of Bronte beach, the voiceover continues: “Standing right here, this is where people swim, down there at the Bronte bogey hole, and he was just having a gay old time so yeah, just don’t touch him.”
‘Welcome to Australia’
Alongside the video, the poster — who describes herself as a “Texan boppin around Australia for the last decade” — shared more information about how dangerous blue-ringed octopuses are. “Their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realising they have been envenomated until respiratory depression and paralysis begins.” At the end of her caption she added, “Welcome to Australia! Enjoy your swim.”
Among the comments on the video, many people expressed their horror at the terrifying sight. “As an Aussie, I will NEVER step foot in a rock pool,” one woman wrote. “I’m more scared of those than an 8ft crocodile if that puts anything into perspective,” added another.
While Waverley Council, which oversees beach patrols before the Surf Life Saving NSW patrol season begins, said it hadn’t received any reports of a blue-ringed octopus in the area, it urged beach goers to report any sightings.
Sydney swimmer bitten by blue-ringed octopus
Earlier this year, a swimmer was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a blue-ringed octopus at another Sydney beach. The woman, in her 30s, was at Chinamans Beach in Mosman when she was struck multiple times on the stomach. She was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital to be monitored and treated.
The venom of a blue-ringed octopus — called tetrodotoxin — is known to be 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide on humans. But fortunately, their bites are rare and the very docile animals only lash out if provoked.
What to do if you’re bitten
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a spokesperson for Surf Life Saving NSW warned anyone bitten by a blue-ringed octopus to call Triple-0 immediately and apply a pressure bandage to the site. “If breathing difficulties and paralysis occur, CPR may be necessary until help arrives,” the spokesperson added.
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