SYDNEY, Australia (WJW) – A woman swimming by a beach near Sydney, Australia, was taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon after she was bitten twice by an extremely venomous blue-ringed octopus, according to local reports.
The woman, who is in her 30s, picked up a shell while swimming at Chinamans Beach in Mosman, according to The Australian newspaper. The octopus, which was inside the shell, fell out and bit the woman in the stomach.
Paramedics quickly jumped into action to help the woman, who was experiencing abdominal pain around the bite. She was taken to a Royal North Shore hospital for treatment, according to The Australian, which obtained photos of the small octopus after capture.
According to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, blue-ringed octopus venom is extremely dangerous and stings have led to at least three known human deaths. Its venom is 1,000 times more potent than cyanide and could kill 26 humans within minutes, according to the Ocean Conservancy.
However, since death is usually the result of oxygen loss, experts say victims given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation normally survive.
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Blue-ringed octopi only show off their iridescent blue markings when they’re about to dispense the deadly toxin. The Australian Institute of Marine Science says the golf ball-sized creatures will only bite if they are bothered or feel threatened.