During a trip overseas, an American tourist and TikTok star, Kaylin Phillips, almost lost her life while playing with a tiny octopus. Unbeknownst to the Virginia native, she held a blue-ringed octopus while vacationing on a beach during her time studying at a university in Bail. However, Phillips only realized later that she nearly lost her life after holding the venomous octopus in the palm of her hand – and the octopus is considered one of the deadliest creatures in the ocean, which can kill a person within minutes because the venom can cause respiratory arrest.
Phillips only realized that the octopus was one of the deadliest animals in the sea after she posted a video of her holding the critter to Instagram. She also started doing her own research on the blue-ringed octopus. She was in Bali because she was working to help film a documentary about animal welfare in the islands of Indonesia.
“While we were there, we saw really interesting wildlife,” Phillips said in a TikTok video. “I remember when we saw this little guy swim up, we picked him up. There were about three of us passing him around, and we didn’t think anything of it. We actually saw another one similar, picked that one up as well,’ she said of the incident which occurred three years ago.”
The tiny octopus is loaded with the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, which can kill a person in minutes. The venom simply stops people from being able to get oxygen into their bloodstream. Besides struggling to breathe, the venom can also induce bleeding, nausea, vomiting and can also make it difficult to swallow or see.
Scientists have not figured out an anti-venom for the tiny octopus. If someone is exposed to the venom, they will need to have oxygen put into their lungs. The best way to do that is through a tube or an oxygen mask.
According to Museums Victoria, the octopus can be hard to identify; however, it does have distinctive markings.
“These tiny critters are some of the ocean’s most distinctive and venomous inhabitants,” the Museums Victoria website stated. “Despite having formidable reputations and being incredibly common in coastal waters, blue-ringed octopuses are rarely encountered. They are the ocean’s recluses.’”
There have been some close calls with the blue-ringed octopus in recent months. According to images posted by Randwick City Council, a child collected a shell, which was hiding one of the deadly octopuses. A dad named Andrew found the octopus after taking a swim with his children on Yarra Bay beach.
“Our 11-year-old son set a couple of shells down on a beach towel my wife was sitting on, and then a few moments later, this little fella and another scampered across the towel,” he said. The venomous octopus exited one of the shells and gave the family quite the shock. “The funny thing is that we’d spoken recently with the kids about how the blue-ringed octopus could be found around the area and that they’re super deadly. However, we never really expected to see one.”
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