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Blue-Ringed Octopus

by cory on January 25th, 2008
My sister is a TA for a Carleton study abroad program in Australia right now, and she just clued me in to their program blog. It's full of gorgeous underwater pictures, like the blue-ringed octopus: Blue-Ringed Octopus Or, as I like to call it, the blue-ringed octopus of death. It uses a type of neurotoxin called a tetrodotoxin that blocks sodium channels and paralyzes you. It doesn't inhibit mental facility, though, so its victims have the gruesome pleasure of being totally cognizant of their fate as they lay motionless and people around them assume they're dead. There are stories of people getting buried alive after a run-in with one of these creatures. The blue-ringed octopus is small but still carries enough venom to poison 26 adult humans. And my lucky sister has seen not one but three of them in the wild now.

From → travel

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