Mum’s horror after spotting deadly sea creature swimming near where dozens of kids were playing: ‘It was a miracle they didn’t step on it’
- Beachgoers spot blue-ringed octopus at beach
- Nippers and families were playing nearby
Families have come alarmingly close to the deadly blue-ringed octopus after a horrified beachgoer spotted it floating just off the water’s edge at a popular bay.
Dozens of people were swimming at Gunnamatta Bay near Cronulla, in Sydney’s south, on Sunday morning when a beachgoer spotted the blue-ringed octopus floating in the netted area mere metres from a group of nippers.
After telling her husband she’d seen the deadly sea creature, he used a toy bucket the children brought to the beach and scooped the venomous creature out of the water before anyone was hurt.
The couple took photos of the octopus inside the bucket before walking to the end of the wharf to release it far away from swimmers.
The pictures were uploaded to a local Cronulla Facebook community group, warning others to be vigilant in the area.
A beachgoer used a toy bucket to scoop the venomous creature out of the water before anyone was hurt
After taking photos of the octopus, it was released at the end of the wharf, far away from swimmers
Though blue-ring sightings aren’t uncommon along Sydney’s coast, it still sends shivers up locals’ spines when they spot one.
‘There were probably about 50 kids in the water for nippers training,’ the woman who originally spotted it told Yahoo News Australia.
‘Directly where the octopus was five or six kids were paddling’.
‘I felt concerned how close it was to where my kids were playing, it was a miracle they didn’t step on it.’
The blue-ringed octopus was metres from a group of nippers
Dozens of locals swimming in Gunnamatta Bay near Cronulla, in Sydney, when a beachgoer spotted a blue-ringed octopus
Blue-ringed octopi are not known to be aggressive but if they are threatened, their namesake blue rings flare up across their body
Their venom is known to be 1,000 times more potent than cyanide and is considered some of the strongest on Earth despite their miniscule size, averaging 8cm in length.
Stings from the octopus are painless and hard to spot since they’re so small on the surface of the skin and victims don’t usually know they’ve been poisoned until the effects are felt – which are often fatal.
What are blue-ringed octopuses?
The blue-ringed octopus bite is highly venomous to humans and emergency services should be called immediately if it occurs.
Blue-ringed octopuses are not aggressive animals and most cases of bites are from a person picking up and handling the creature, or stepping on it.
Danger to humans:
It injects its toxin by biting – the venom is held in salivary glands and the mouth of the octopus in on the underneath side in the middle of the body.
Most bites cause minimal pain for the first 5-10 minutes then begin to throb and may get numb.
The bite could cause excessive bleeding, nausea, vomiting, changes in vision and difficulty swallowing.
After 10 minutes, the victim may have difficulty breathing, become paralysed, and require artificial ventilation until they can be transported to a hospital.
The duration of life-threatening symptoms is usually four to 10 hours – after that time, surviving patients typically show rapid signs of improvement.
There is no anti-venom available for blue-ringed octopus bites.