Aussie man's encounter with 'poisonous but cute' sea creature: 'It can kill you'

Brodie Moss filmed the little animal swimming in his hand.

A teeny tiny creature discovered in the ocean off Australia has captivated the masses thanks to its brightly-coloured skin and small, rounded body making it a unique sight to see.

Barely 3cm in size, the bobtail squid has been dubbed the "cutest thing ever" by thousands of social media users. However, according to ocean lover and adventure seeker Brodie Moss — one part of the YouTube crew Youngbloods — they're also poisonous.

The content creator from Western Australia shared a video on TikTok showing the minuscule sea animal swimming in his hand underwater.

"This is the cutest thing I've ever seen," he said as the little fella tried to swim away before shooting some ink and burying itself into the sand. In the caption, Brodie claimed the tiny animal is "[poisonous] but cute".

Small green bobtail squid
The tiny bobtail squid was spotted in the ocean off Australia. Source: TikTok/ybsbrodie

Bobtail squid are a group of cephalopods closely related to cuttlefish and some are said to be the size of someone's thumb. Hundreds agreed the mini creature is "so cute" because of its size.

"You got me. Finally, a sea creature that doesn't totally freak me out," one person said of the bright green bobtail squid. "Him inking is the cutest thing I've ever seen," admitted another.

There appears to be a more sinister side to the "cute" sea creature though with many suggesting the seemingly harmless squid is "venomous" and "can kill you" — but it's not quite as it seems.

Expert lifts the lid on 'poisonous' squid

Dr Amanda Reid, who specialises in Malacology, the study of molluscs, said while some bobtail squid species can be dangerous, "that particular one that you can see in the video isn't poisonous".

"The poisonous one is the striped pyjama squid, which looks very different," she explained to Yahoo News Australia. "They have cream and brown stripes, and they're very distinctive, they're thought to be poisonous".

Explaining further, Dr Reid said the striped pyjama squid has poisonous slime that's secreted by the body but said it's not known if it's harmful to humans — only other animals.

Bobtail squid not often seen

It's not known where Brodie was swimming at the time so identifying the exact species is difficult. However, Dr Reid said it's likely to be part of the Euprymna genus, of which there are about a dozen species known worldwide, four of which are in Australia.

The little green creature spotted by Brodie appears to be a Southern Bobtail Squid. However, examination under a microscope would be required to confirm.

Sepioloidea lineolata also known as Striped Pyjama Squid or Striped Dumpling Squid.
Sepioloidea lineolata also known as Striped Pyjama Squid or Striped Dumpling Squid are said to be poisonous. Source: Getty

"They're all found in relatively shallow water, often close to seagrass beds, but they also can turn up in coral reef areas as well," Dr Reid explained adding they're usually pretty harmless.

"They mostly spend the daytime buried in the sand, and at night they come out to feed. And the reason they hide during the day is because there are more predators that might take advantage of a little soft snack."

Because of this, and their size, they're rarely ever seen so it's "amazing" Brodie spotted one.

"Sometimes if you disturb the sand, you might kind of cause one to come out if there happens to be one there," said Dr Reid.

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