An Irishman visiting Australia was on a fishing trip with some friends when they happened upon a cute little octopus. He put it on his arm, as you do, and took a video of it latching on to him before returning it to the water.
He did not learn until later that it had been a blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena), which are highly venomous, possessing enough venom to kill at least 26 people.
Speaking with 7 News Brisbane, John Paul Lennon, 24, and his friend Ross Saunders, said that they had made it their mission while traveling Australia to take as many photos with animals as possible.
(Inspired fellow Irishman Alan Dixon, the famous animal selfie photographer perhaps?).
While fishing at Burnett Heads in Bundaberg, Lennon and Saunders caught the tiny but deadly octopus and took a video of it on Lennon's arm.
Little did they know, but the blue-ringed octopus' venom contains the powerful neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, which can cause death by respiratory arrest within minutes. Even a small amount can lead to paralysis.
An Irish man, who put a blue-ringed octopus on his arm for a photograph, claims he had no idea the animal could kill him. Speaking exclusively to 7NEWS, the 24-year-old says the one that didn’t get away makes for his best fishing tale yet. @ChloeAmandaB #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/qY89sjL53x— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) July 14, 2019
They got a shock when they returned to land and showed it to some of their Australian friends, who were aware of the lethal danger of blue-ringed octopi.
“We got home thinking not much really happened until we showed the octopus video to some of our friends, and that’s when we found out what it was and a lot of googling was done!” Saunders wrote in a Facebook post.
“We laughed about it when we first found out, but it did eventually sink in, and it’s surreal to think back knowing if things had been slightly different it could have been fatal, and things would be very different right now.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt and we can laugh about how close to death and stupid we were.”
While a platitude like "ignorance is bliss" or "the luck of the Irish!" might seem like an apt takeaway here, Saunders offered his own, smarter one:
"Lesson learnt, don’t f**k with the wildlife in Australia."