An Australian teenager nearly died when he was bitten by a venomous blue-ringed octopus hidden in a shell he pulled out of the ocean to show his niece.
Jacob Eggington, 18, was swimming and searching for seashells at Shoalwater Beach in Perth when the octopus, which carries a particularly deadly poison, bit him.
The teenager didn’t realize he had been bitten until he showed the shell to his niece, catching signs of the deadly animal before it could harm her too.
“As soon as he saw the octopus, he screamed very loudly. “I grabbed the baby.” his brother, Joshua, told 7 News Perth. “That’s one of the most traumatic thoughts of what could have happened.”
After seeing the creature, which was no larger than the palm of a hand, Eggington inspected his leg and found a painless sting, a move that saved his life because it prompted him to seek immediate medical attention.
Blue-ringed octopuses carry a deadly toxin that has no cure, and it took doctors six hours to stabilize the teenager after he was stretchered off the beach. According to experts, a bite from one of these creatures can kill someone within 30 minutes.
The animal is often seen on Perth beaches.
Experts recommend swimmers avoid water without reef shoes and always be alert, as the creatures are good at camouflage.
The octopus uses its venom to kill its prey and feed itself.
They live in the Pacific and Indian oceans, usually near coral reefs, according to the National Museum of History.
The creature only shows its blue rings when it feels threatened.
Blue-ringed octopuses are small, measuring less than 5 inches long.