The Magical and Deadly Blue-Ringed Octopus

Blue-Ringed Octopus observed off the coast of Dauin

I spent a week diving off the coast of Dauin and Apo Island in the Philippines. During one of our first dives, we ran into a Blue-Ringed Octopus.

The Blue-Ringed Octopus is one of the most venomous animals found underwater. The average Blue-Ringed Octopus has enough venom to kill 26 humans at the same time. A Blue-Ringed Octopus bite contain the neurotoxin Tetrodotoxin. The bite may be painless, so it’s possible to be unaware of danger until respiratory distress and paralysis occur. Other symptoms include nausea, blindness, and heart failure, but death (if it occurs) usually results from paralysis of the diaphragm. There is no antivenom for a blue-octopus bite, but tetradotoxin can be metabolized and excreted within a few hours from the human body.

During the day, the octopus crawls through coral and across the shallow sea floor, seeking to ambush prey. It swims by expelling water through its siphon in a type of jet propulsion.

This octopus is common in tropical and subtropical coral reefs and tide pools of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, ranging from southern Japan to Australia.

The rings become more apparent when the animals is agitated or threatened.

I shot this video with a Gopro Hero 8 Black and edited with Final Cut Pro X.

Thanks to the awesome guides at the Atmosphere Resort in Dauin, Philippines who helped spot microscale creatures underwater.

I will post more images and video of this expedition in the next few weeks. I’ve already posted my top ten underwater photographs here.

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