A woman has shocked onlookers after handling a deadly blue-ringed octopus in the water, seemingly unaware of its ability to end her life in minutes.
In the video shared on TikTok, the swimmer scoops up the tiny but deadly sea creature with her hand as it wiggles about her palm. But people she's she's "very lucky" to still be alive.
The woman, who was "born and raised" in Australia, claimed she "didn't know until half-hour later what it was" with people warning "don't ever do that again."
While it's not known exactly where in Australia the beachgoer was swimming at the time, the blue-ringed octopus is commonly found in tidal pools, from southern Western Australia through to southern NSW.
'Extremely powerful venom'
According to The Australian Museum, the species uses “an extremely powerful venom” to kill its prey including crabs and small fish.
The octopus can also use this venom, known as tetrodotoxin, on humans too which can cause paralysis and death.
Ian Tibbetts, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland told Yahoo News Australia the social media trend showing people handle these creatures is "alarming stupidity."
"Someone might die doing this," he warned, adding they are "beautiful creatures" and should be left well alone.
Despite this, an alarming number of videos have been circulating on social media showing various people, including tourists to Australia, making contact with the sea creature. But they appear to walk away unharmed.
Blue-ringed octopus 'can be handled safely'
Professor Culum Brown, from Macquarie University, said while dangerous, they "can be handled safely with care" but it's not something he'd recommend.
"I've seen this first hand as a marine education officer, little kids bring blue rings cupped in their hands and say 'look what I found'," he said.
"Bluerings bite but they are so small they seldom have the capacity to break our skin. But if you apply pressure, you not only piss them off but you help them break your skin as they bite."
On seeing the clip, TikTok users were outraged and shocked by the woman's potentially deadly act.
"Lucky your not dead," one person wrote.
"Every Aussie definitely face palmed HARD," said another.
Beachgoer's warning after find inside shell
It's not the first time a swimmer has come in contact with a poisonous sea animal.
Last year, a woman issued a warning after making a “deadly” find on a beach in Sydney’s south.
She posted a video to Facebook holding a shell at Kurnell and warned people to "be careful".
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