Blue-Ringed Octopus

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There are currently 10 known species of blue ring octopus in the world’s oceans and they can mostly be found in the warm waters surrounding the Philippines, Indonesia, from east to west Australia and from Australia’s northern waters through to Japan and Sri Lanka. It is entirely possible, however, that more blue ring octopus species exist.

The blue ring octopus is an absolutely fascinating creature, and although it only grows to a maximum of 10 cm, they contain venom that is 10 000 times more powerful than cyanide. The blue ring octopus is without a doubt one of the deadliest animals alive, and divers and swimmers should never go near when the bright blue rings are vibrant and easily visible – this is a display of agitation and a very strong warning sign to other animals to stay away.

The blue ring octopus has 2 glands that secrete two different types of poison into its saliva. One of the poisons is used for killing their main food source, crabs, while the other, Maculotoxin, is its potent defence mechanism.

Blue-Ringed Octopus Hunting Crab Video

Due to its small size, you might not even know that you’d been bitten by a blue ring octopus at first. However, obvious signs would soon appear with whole body paralysis setting in in only a matter of minutes. Other symptoms include a loss of all senses including sight. Death is certain as there is currently no anti-venom available. In fact, the only possible way to survive is to receive many hours of CPR which would pass the poison through the body.

Two Blue Ring Octopus

As one of the oceans most newly discovered creatures, the two blue ring octopus is yet to be described scientifically. However, this tiny creature is most certainly proof that we still know so little about our underwater environment.

The two blue ring octopus is no bigger than 1cm, although it is possible that the specimen found was a juvenile. Discovered in Kapalai, Sabah Malaysia, it is believed that the two blue ring octopus won’t grow any bigger than 10 cm, similar in size to the Hapalochlaena. The creature is somewhat similar to the wonderpus due to its horn-like structures that progress to points located above the eye. There is also an appendage between its eyes. Of course, this creature gets its common name from the two blue rings that appear when it is agitated or threatened.

More Info

The Blue Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaen maculosa) is a very small octopus with an arm span that is generally less than 15 cm. This octopus feeds on small fish, crabs, shrimp and shellfish and uses a strong toxin (known as Tetradotoxin) to paralyse its prey.

The Blue Ringed Octopus is one of the most poisonous species in our oceans and the bite from this little octopus can be fatal for humans. Despite their venomous nature they are not considered to be aggressive and do not pose a threat to humans unless they are greatly disturbed.

Family: Octopodidae

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