Pro-travel tip: don’t engage with exotic animals without doing at least some research about the wildlife endemic to the part of the world you’re about to visit.
Two travelers were lucky enough to cheat death after unknowingly playing with a blue-ringed octopus during a fishing trip to Queensland, Australia. A single blue-ringed octopus carries a toxin that is 10,000 times more powerful than cyanide and is enough to kill up to 26 humans.
According to News.com.au, the two friends, Ross Saunders and Johnpaul Lennon (what a name!), were on a backpacking trip through Australia and had made a habit out of snapping pictures of the local wildlife. Naturally, when they happened to snag the octopus on their fishing line, they wanted a photo. The duo spent nearly 30 seconds trying to get the octopus to sit on Lennon’s arm before releasing it back into the water. It wasn’t until they were back home showing the video to friends that they’d learn how poisonous the creature was.
News.com.au reports that while blue-ringed octopus stings are painless, victims can experience numbness, vomiting, and paralysis, and may need the help of artificial breathing equipment before they can be safely transported to a hospital. “We laughed about it when we first found out,” says Saunders on a Facebook post regarding the matter, “but it did eventually sink in, and it’s surreal to think back knowing if things had been slightly different it could have been fatal, and things would be very different right now.”
Word! Let this be a lesson to all of us, don’t f*ck with wildlife you aren’t familiar with. Really, this is a lesson we all should’ve learned from Jurassic Park when that dude who plays Newman tried to play nice with that dilophosaurus.