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Warning after deadly creatures found where 'kids play all the time'

The beachgoer said she didn't know the creature was found in such shallow waters.

A beachgoer is pleading with others to be vigilant after she found two blue-ringed octopuses in water only an "inch" deep where "kids play all the time".

The small marine animals carry enough venom to kill up to 26 adults, with children often attracted to the bright colours they display when feeling threatened.

Wollongong resident Karyn Lewis was with her partner and seven-year old grandson at the popular swimming spot at Reddal Reserve this week when something caught her eye.

"They were fishing and I was just standing there in the water," she told Yahoo News Australia. After seeing something swim under a rock, she “flipped it over” to find a blue-ringed octopus.

A blue-ringed octopus was found under rocks (left) within ten minutes of one another, with the resident scooping them up in a container (right) and relocating them.
Two blue-ringed octopuses were found with 10 minutes of each other in shallow water in Wollongong, NSW. Source: Supplied

“The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘I’m going to relocate this’,” she said, explaining she used a container to gently scoop up the animal and relocate it at the break wall “away from where all the kids were swimming”.

Another blue-ringed octopus found in 10 minutes

After relocating the animal and wandering back to her original location, she spotted a second within 10 minutes.

“We were coming back when I saw another one and I thought, ‘Nah, it can’t be’. I flipped the rock over and saw an even bigger one, so I grabbed my container again,” she said.

Lewis said she gave her grandson — who "would have walked over the rock numerous times" without seeing it— a “lecture” about the dangers of the animal. Blue-ringed octopus bites are often so small they go undetected but they pose huge risks – with victims having difficulty in breathing within minutes, according to the Australian Museum.

The animals are usually found in rock pools with Lewis surprised to see some in shallow waters. She wants to spread awareness to others who may also not have known they can be found there.

"There was only three rocks there in the whole sandy area and I found two [octopuses]… it’s a very popular spot, everyone goes there as it’s a perfect spot for little kids to go because it's not too deep," she said. "I didn’t expect to find them there."

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