• Damon Swisher

Extremely Deadly Octopus Accidentally Grilled Up and Sold in Thai Market

Talk about biting off more than you can chew.

Actually, the Blue Ringed Octopus isn't that big, so taking the first bit wouldn't be terrible. Good luck taking a second bite though...

This past weekend in November (after Thanksgiving here in the states) one of these deadly beauties was found stuck on a spike, grilled up in a street vendors shop in a Thailand street market. I've personally always thought street food was delicious - but due to the questionable quality, I always try not to look to hard when I eat it. I think that's going to change now!

The Blue-Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) are tiny coral dwelling octopi characterized by beautiful blue rings on their sand-colored body. The Blue-ringed Octopus is known - and feared - as being am extremely deadly creature to humans, with venom capable of killing 26 humans within minutes. The octopus is so small that most people don't even feel it's bite, and therefore they are typically unaware of becoming envenomated until they begin to feel the terrible effects!

Blue-ringed octopus venom, produced by bacteria in their bodies, is primarily a paralysis toxin that is extremely potent, containing the tetrodotoxin compound as well as many more. As mentioned before, the venom is able to entirely paralyze 26 humans within minutes, and shortly after cause their deaths through respiratory failure from the paralysis of their diaphragm (yikes!). There is currently no antivenom available. On the bright side; there is treatment, but it has to be applied within minutes or it will be certain death. Treatment involves artificial respiration, usually through a ventilator. Patients who are treated with artificial respiration at the right time almost always survive.

Still - its absolutely not worth taking the risk when there are trays and trays of other skewers to chose from. The venom is extremely durable as well, capable of surviving over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so cooking the forbidden calamari isn't going to solve the problem. Moral of the story: double check your street food! Especially if it has blue rings!

Source: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources in Thailand

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