An Australian YouTuber known for capturing his unique adventures with wildlife has copped some heat for his uncomfortably close interaction with a deadly creature in a heart-stopping video.
Brodie Moss, the frontman for the Youngbloods channel, is often described by fans as having "the spirit of Steve Irwin" for attempting to educate millions of his followers with his enthusiastic approach to wildlife.
However his latest "insane" stunt with a blue-ringed octopus had people clenching their teeth, fearing an unfortunate ending.
"This is one of the most venomous creatures in the ocean," Brodie said on Tuesday, after spotting the creature in a tidal pool. Despite their venom being 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide on humans, he decides to lie down in the water and "grab him" to show his followers. "He should be pretty chilled, they're normally really mellow," Brodie said.
Blue-ringed octopus lunges at influencer
While the animals are known to be docile, they will lash out and flare their blue rings when threatened, which happened while Brodie was interacting with it.
When trying to get the creature to "hop on the shell," by guiding it with a stick, it suddenly lunges for his finger, leading Brodie to drop the shell out of fear.
The blue-ringed octopus then starts comically squirting water at him, at which point the influencer says he's "not going to attempt anything more" and starts backing away.
However the octopus isn't convinced and swims after Brodie, who is surprised by how "fast" it is and decides to tickle the creature on the head as a goodbye, telling it to "have a bloody good one".
Brodie Moss advised to keep his 'hands off'
Many fans were shocked with how Brodie was just "casually playing with death", saying he wasn't setting a good "example" for something that "could have gone very wrong".
"Why poke it? Absolutely unnecessary!" one person said on Instagram. "Sorry mate young kids look up to what you do and if they or anyone gets that wrong it’s a death sentence. I am a big fan and supporter of what you do, but that one maybe needs a kids don’t do this," said another.
"I’m a scuba dive master, and I have a strict no touching policy when I am guiding. It’s best for nature if we just keep hands off unless we’re specifically trained/knowledgeable about how to properly handle something," a third person said.
After getting backlash, Brodie addressed the comments on social media. "Had no idea so many people would come at me in the comments, I didn’t hurt it in anyway at all!!" he said on Instagram.
"I thought it was just amazing to show to those who could never see one also it could literally kill you if you didn’t know what one was, but now you know.. much love everyone."
Blue-ringed octopus are known to have caused the death of at least two people in Australia and one in Singapore, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
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