The venom in this octopus is 1000 times more powerful than cyanide and can kill 26 adult humans

Anita Durairaj

All octopi are venomous when it comes to killing their prey. However, the majority of octopi are not as deadly to humans as the tiny blue-ringed octopus (genus Hapalochlaena).

The blue-ringed octopus includes 4 highly venomous species and it is classified as one of the deadliest marine animals.

According to Ocean Conservancy, the octopus's venom is 1000 times more powerful than cyanide and it can kill up to 26 adult humans.

The blue-ringed octopus is native to the Pacific Ocean and can be found in shallow tide pools and coral reefs.

They are quite small in size and are 1.5 to 2.3 inches long with arm lengths of 2.7 to 4 inches.

The blue-ringed octopus displays its vivid circular blue markings only when the octopus feels threatened and it is ready to dispense its venom against prey.

The venom of the octopus includes a chemical called tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin that is fatal.

The venom blocks nerve signals and causes muscle paralysis, respiratory distress, nausea, blindness, and loss of senses and motor skills. Death takes place within a few minutes. Survival is only possible if resuscitation efforts are implemented immediately.

The good news is that the blue-ringed octopus is not aggressive and only bites if it is handled or cornered. To date, only a handful of people have been fatally bitten by the octopus.

Although highly venomous, the octopus has been sold in a few, select pet stores and can live in an aquarium.

In popular culture, the blue-ringed octopus has most famously been featured in the James Bond movie, Octopussy.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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