A woman in her 30’s has suffered multiple bites from a deadly Blue-Ringed octopus while swimming in Mosman on Thursday.
Paramedics were called to Chinamans Beach around 2:45pm, after receiving a report the local female had suffered “numerous” bites to her stomach.
Blue-ringed octopuses are among the world’s most venomous marine animals, carrying enough venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes.
The Blue Ringed octopus is one of the most deadly creatures in the world.
Due to their size, averaging around 8cm, their bites are tiny and often painless, with their poison capable of causing respiratory arrest, heart failure, paralysis, blindness and eventually death from suffocation.
Though they are venomous, the sea creatures are relatively docile, only showing their bright blue rings and becoming deadly to humans when threatened.
There is no antivenom for tetrodotoxin, with victims of a bite only able to outlast the toxin on a ventilator until its effects subside.
Paramedics have transferred the woman to Royal North Shore hospital.
While there is a serious danger, there have only been a handful of confirmed casualties from a blue-ringed bite as the creatures are more likely to hide in small crevices instead of attack.
Blue-ringed octopuses are common around Australia’s coastline.
“But unless you’re looking for them, encounters tend to be rare,” Professor Jamie Seymour from James Cook University Seymour says.
The woman is believed to have received numerous bites to her stomach shortly before 2:45pm on Thursday.
This is because the animals are very vulnerable to predators and hide during the day, tucking themselves behind rocks or inside shells.
They can also hide in discarded bottles and cans in the water.
Professor Seymour said it is a good idea for swimmers to be careful when exploring rock pools.
But the good news is that only a couple of people are bitten each year in Australia, and only a handful of deaths due to blue-ringed octopuses have ever been documented worldwide.