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2739 e02e 500











#That’s a#That’s a blue ringed octopus#You’re going to die do you realise that#It is literally one of the most deadly animals in the world#Not just in Australia or just in the ocean in THE WORLD#Put it DOWN#And go to a hospital jfc via platonic-rabbit 

me tryna find out if this fool died


“The blue-ringed octopus, despite its small size, carries enough venom to kill twenty-six adult humans within minutes. Their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realizing they have been envenomated until respiratory depression and paralysis start to set in.[8] No blue-ringed octopus antivenom is available yet, making it one of the deadliest reef inhabitants in the ocean.”

Holy shit

And this is why I don’t go in the ocean anymore

Also the blue rings literally only show up when it is distressed so this person has angered it!!! You are in danger friend!!!

Actually this guy keeps them as pets they’re on his instagram (william_exotique) and he frequently holds then and I just? Don’t know why? And also every picture or video he posts of them shows the blue rings so they’re always in distress I just do not understand why he’s doing this


I mean OP pretty much covered it.  A blue ringed octopus is almost on the level of CONE SNAIL on the list of things you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT PICK UP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

But ask and you shall receive,  On this episode of “Fun Facts With Cuckoo,” DEAD.  YOU’RE DEAD.  EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND YOU SHOULD NEVER TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE OCEAN EVER AGAIN.

There are many things that will kill you. [citation needed]

There are fewer, but still many things that will kill you FAST.

There are yet fewer things that kill you fast and by such an overwhelming margin of overkill that nervous laughter is our only solace in the dark of this terrible, surprisingly Lovecraftian world of unearthly horrors that we live in.

Of the things that I know about which will kill you fast via just plain insultingly potent venom, which is a not insignificant number of things because I know a not insignificant number of things, there are about 3 things in the ocean – IN THE WHOLE OCEAN – which are so insanely, mind-bogglingly deadly that there is pretty much no possible hope for survival (I mean you CAN, but god help you if you’re ever in that situation, because god’s just about damn near the only thing that CAN help you).  THE. WHOLE. OCEAN.

Those three things are the Irukandji (a tiny (1cm) species of box jellyfish, which has stingers not only on its tentacles but on its BELL, for reasons no one has definitively figured out, and is so toxic despite its size its sting can cause a severe brain hemorrhage), the cone snail (a group of carnivorous sea snails that is accepted to be the most venomous animals on earth, with a STUPIDLY fast acting and extremely powerful neurotoxin that has in at least one case killed a human ALMOST INSTANTANEOUSLY, because the swimmer who found two beautiful shells (unfortunately cone snails tend to have very pretty shells which makes people want to pick them up) was holding them up for a picture and ended up being stabbed in the neck by not one but TWO cone snails at the same time, and it is believed that she was literally dead before she hit the ground, I mean LITERALLY in a 100% non-fictional and non-exaggerated way, in between the time the two cone snails stabbed her and the time her limp body hit the sand, she was not alive anymore), and the blue ringed octopus.

It is POSSIBLE to survive any of these.  But not without immediate medical attention.  Of these three, the Irukandji is by far the most treatable, because Australia and other coastal regions (including Florida and other parts of the US) are kind of experienced in dealing with box jellyfish.

The blue ringed octopus will fucking kill you.  There’s no antidote for their venom, ONE COMPONENT OF WHICH (tetrodotoxin) is 1200 times deadlier than cyanide.  It’s a powerful neurotoxin (most of the worst venoms are because the species that produce them need to kill or at least paralyze their prey quickly, like jellyfish whose fragile tentacles could be damaged if their food doesn’t stop struggling) that attacks the sodium channels and causes muscle paralysis.  It doesn’t necessarily kill you quickly.  It PARALYZES you quickly, so that you can’t really call for help or describe the problem, and you will probably end up slowly suffocating from a paralyzed diaphragm.  Tetrodotoxin can be metabolized by the body in a matter of hours, but it can also kill you in a matter of minutes if you get a lethal dose (which isn’t much, the LD50 or median lethal dose, the dose at which you have a 50% chance of survival, is only 8 MICROGRAMS per kilogram of body weight (as tested in mice)).  This is, by venom standards, not a large amount, which means the animal that is capable of putting this venom inside your body is very very good at killing the absolute shit out of you.


Now, because overkill is my motto, let me briefly explain why Conus geographus is the undisputed champion of YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE, AND FURTHERMORE FUCK YOU FOR THINKING OTHERWISE.

A cone snail walks into a bar.  You’d expect the bartender to ask, “what’s your poison,” but they were paralyzed before they could ask and OH LOOK they’re already FUCKING DEAD ON THE GROUND.

Conus geographus is about 4-6 inches long and nature’s equivalent of Avada Kedavra.  Cone snails literally have their own KIND of toxins named after them: conotoxin.  Not only is there no antidote, but their venom AGGRESSIVELY RESISTS our ability to find a cure, because we barely understand how it works AND conotoxins are so internally varied, even within a single species, that any one antidote isn’t going to help because they’re constantly mutating and evolving their venom to prevent their prey from evolving a resistance to it.  Plus their venom is like, a bunch of different venoms all at once JUST IN CASE any one of them wasn’t good enough.

I want you to read these two sentences from the wiki page on conotoxin:

  1. “Conotoxins have a variety of mechanisms of actions, most of which have not been determined.”
  2. “The LD50 of conotoxin is 50 ng/kg.”

Remember how the LD50 of tetrodotoxin is 8μg/kg?  Conotoxin is 160 times more potent.  FIFTY NANOGRAMS PER KILOGRAM HAS A 50% CHANCE OF KILLING YOU. A 220-POUND HUMAN HAS A 50% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL AGAINST JUST 5 MICROGRAMS OF CONOTOXIN.  



Conus geographus is so fucking deadly that “In two cases of envenomation, only 0.0002-0.0005 mg resulted in severe paralysis.”


And guess what?  Cone snails don’t do that NOOB SHIT with the superficial biting or stinging.  Your wetsuit or gloves won’t protect you.  Because homeboy didn’t bring teeth to evolution’s knife fight.  Oh no.  It brought a motherfucking radula POISON HARPOON.  It’s lightning fast and has way more piercing power than some silly little cnidocytes or salivary bacteria.

Another component of their venom is being researched for its potential as a pain reliever.  “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT????” you might reasonably ask.  And you would be right to do so, because science has gone too far and has surely sinned against the very image of Mollusca Kedavra.  Well, it turns out the answer is “Research shows that certain component proteins of the venom target specific human pain receptors and can be up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine without morphine’s addictive properties and side-effects.”  That’s right, the part of their venom that SPECIFICALLY DOESN’T HURT YOU is up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

Also, Conus geographus (along with one other cone snail species, C. tulipa) is the only known non-human animal to weaponize insulin.  In addition to the normal insulin that the snails produce for their own use, their bodies manufacture an ADDITIONAL insulin molecule that is similar to the kind produced in fish (which they eat) for the sole purpose of stunning their prey through hypoglycemic shock.  BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEY DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY’D KILL YOU HARD ENOUGH OTHERWISE.

IF you are going to survive the ALMIGHTY CONE SNAIL, WHO KNOWS NO FEAR, TRIUMPHANT HEDGEMON OF THE MOLECULAR ARMS RACE, TRUE BORN HEIR TO THE SCYTHE OF DEATH ITSELF, FISHSLAYER, GOD AMONG MOLLUSKS, WHOSE WRATH IS MERCIFUL ONLY IN ITS BREVITY, ADMIRABLE IN ITS BEAUTY AND UNSULLIED BY THE UNWORTHY TOUCH OF MORTAL HANDS OR SCALES OR REALLY ANYTHING IN RANGE OF ITS RADULA HARPOON, then literally the only thing that’s going to save you is for you to be kept alive artificially (externalizing your respiratory functions to force your body to continue breathing, basically) until the effects of the venom wear off.  And because of how quickly this venom acts, you need to get that medical attention VERY, VERY FAST.

And if you don’t get it, you will still be conscious while the paralysis slowly suffocates you to death.

Don’t touch the pretty shells.

Please write a whole book.

I went to look at this guys instagram and he basically says that he has no fear of death (because he is already dying- I think he has a form of liver cancer but im not sure) : i read in the comments that the ones he has either 1) used up all their venom (i dont know how true a claim like that is but i know very little about the species) and 2) he lets them climb on him at their own pace and therefore dont feel threatened but idk kids dont touch them leave them be and dont be this guy.

That’s nonsense.  

They can’t “use up” their venom.  Tetrodotoxin is actually produced by bacteria that live in their salivary glands in a symbiotic relationship (which is why tetrodotoxin is such a common type of poison among a wide variety of unrelated organisms, including pufferfish, snails, newts, frogs, sea squirts, flat worms, and more).  It is so potent that a bite may not even be required; it may be possible for prolonged contact to produce symptoms just from being absorbed through the skin.  It may even be so potent that it can be spread through the water. (Source)  The Blue Ringed Octopus has exceptionally dense colonies of these bacteria living in special glands.  It provides a safe environment for them, they produce the best means of self defense the octopus could ever ask for.

It may be possible, through careful and limited exposure over a prolonged period of time, that the person who handles these could have developed antibodies to the toxin, as with any other type of venom (except probably cone snails, because conotoxin is BULLSHIT and attacks nearly every part of the nerve cell at once and would therefore require an unbelievable variety of antibodies that, frankly, would never have time to be produced because the lethal dose for the venom is so tiny that it would be virtually impossible to develop a resistance to it).  

In fact, that’s how antidotes to venom are manufactured: you introduce a non-lethal dose into the bloodstream and let the body recover naturally.  Do this repeatedly over time, with increasing exposure, and the body will eventually just have antibodies for that toxin to the point that it would take far more than a typical dose to be lethal.  I’m not sure off the top of my head, but I think this is usually done (at least with snake venom) on horses, because horses are much larger than humans and can therefore be exposed to more venom more safely more quickly and then produce enough antibodies that they can be extracted and used medically.

With something as deadly as tetrodotoxin, that would be a hard resistance to develop naturally.  It’s theoretically possible, especially if you were very careful and very slow in how much exposure you had (e.g. by exposing yourself to the water that contains those salivary bacteria long before you ever touched the octopus directly), but still … strongly strongly discouraged.

And never in a million years do this with a cone snail because you would need 50 different kinds of antibodies (more likely an UNDERSTATEMENT than an exaggeration, at least with C. geographus) that you would probably never be able to develop because there’s almost no dose of conotoxin that you can safely expose yourself to.

And at any rate, if his instagram is not making ABUNDANTLY CLEAR on every single picture that this should NEVER be attempted, then he’s being extremely irresponsible not just with his own life, but with everyone else who is viewing the pictures without proper education.

Also, there’s no way that can be safe because the blue rings on a blue ringed octopus are a threat display.  If you can see the blue rings, it does not feel comfortable.  This is very unsafe animal handling and I will not stand for it.

The rings do get MUCH brighter than that, though.  They basically GLOW blue and, unfortunately for the humans who then want to pick them up, they are very pretty animals:

TL;DR the Blue Ringed Octopus is proof that evolution has utterly failed to give humans the correct response to brightly colored animals.  Bright colors mean stay away, not ooh it’s pretty and I need to touch it.

Do not touch the brightly colored animals.

Reposted byki-adialkernPaseroVirusinzynier

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