Warning as blue ringed octopus spotted metres from kids at Aussie beach

About 50 unsuspecting children were swimming in the same spot as the highly venomous creature.

An Australian mum is overcome with relief that her children were not harmed after spotting a blue-ringed octopus swimming mere metres away from where they were playing in the water.

The family were swimming in Gunnamatta Bay near Cronulla, in Sydney, where the beach was full of "lots" of locals – including a large group of kids – who were enjoying the sun and cooling off in the ocean oblivious to the nearby danger.

"There were probably about 50 kids in the water for nippers training," the woman told Yahoo News Australia. "Directly where the octopus was," she added. "Five or six kids were paddling".

The blue ringed octopus inside the bucket.
The blue ringed octopus was spotted inside the netted area where many children were swimming. Source: Facebook

After another beachgoer spotted the octopus within the netted area, her husband jumped into action and scooped up the highly venomous creature from the water using a kid's play bucket.

"I felt concerned how close it was to where my kids were playing, it was a miracle they didn’t step on it!" she recalled.

After snapping a few photographs to warn others on a local Facebook group, the octopus was released back into the water at the end of the wharf, safely away from swimmers.

One of the most venomous creatures on the planet

The blue ringed octopus species is renowned for its highly venomous bite, which inflicts paralysis and death on its prey, but thankfully they are very docile animals that only lash out if provoked. Their recognisable blue rings from which they get their namesake only appear when they feel threatened, yet experts warn they should always be left alone.

According to The Australian Museum, the species uses “an extremely powerful venom” to kill its prey including crabs and small fish, which can also be lethal for humans. A viral video around this time last year showed one being handled by an unwitting Aussie.

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 at the time.

The blue-ringed octopus is said to be extremely deadly. Source: TikTok
The blue-ringed octopus is said to be extremely deadly if it penetrates the skin. Source: TikTok

Their venom is called tetrodotoxin and is known to be 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide on humans. Their bites are rare, seldom break the skin and are often undetected, yet have catastrophic effects so they should be avoided at all costs.

"They can be handled with care," Professor Culum Brown, from Macquarie University previously told Yahoo, yet he stressed he doesn't recommend ever touching the creature.

"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," he said.

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