Blue-Ringed octopus found in a tennis ball

Sean Callaghan, Reporter

Blue One family went into full panic mode when playing with a raggedy old tennis ball it found near the Swan River in Western Australia.

Kristy Edgelow said her “older son noticed something moving inside” the ball, according to PerthNow. The whole situation was perhaps a little disconcerting, maybe even creepy, until they noticed what exactly was inside the ball. “We got the fright of our lives when this little fellow popped his leg out and we realized it was a blue-ringed octopus,” Edgelow said.


Blue-ringed octopuses are among the deadliest animals in the sea. Throughout their range in Australia and the eastern Indo-Pacific, several humans suffer bites each year. Unfortunately, some of these are fatal.

In Australia where blue-rings occur in shallow coastal waters and can be relatively common in areas frequented by beach-goers, there have been dozens of reported bites and several deaths. Typically, the victim is unaware of the danger and either picks up the innocuous looking octopus or inadvertently contacts it. The bite is slight and produces at most only a small laceration with no more than a tiny drop of blood and little or no discoloration. Bites are usually reported as being painless. Often the victim doesn’t even know that he had been bitten.

This can make it difficult for emergency and medical personnel to determine the cause of a patient’s distress.These creatures look innocuous enough, but their bite is, well, a lot more destructive than you’d imagine, given that the animals don’t grow larger than a golf ball. In severe cases, patients will experience vomiting, respiratory paralysis and even death. No antivenin is available.

“My heart was racing that’s for sure…so please watch out,” Edgelow said in a Facebook post.

The blue-ringed octopus is generally a bottom-dwelling species, but according to aquariumofpacific.org, it seeks shelter in empty seashells and discarded bottles and cans.

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