Tourist Unwittingly Poses With Highly Poisonous Australian Octopus

A tourist from Northern Ireland was fishing with friends in Bundaberg, Queensland, on July 12 when he decided to pose for a photograph with an eye-catching mollusk that he later learned was the highly venomous blue-ring octopus, local media reported.

John Paul Lennon, 24, is seen in the footage laughingly asking a friend to place the octopus on his bare skin a few times, pulling his arm away in trepidation, then letting the creature briefly rest on him.

The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most venomous animals in Australia, with a bite that is capable of causing paralysis.

British backpacker Ross Saunders, who recorded the interaction, said that at the time the men didn’t realize the octopus was poisonous. Sauders posted to Facebook about the incident saying, “Thankfully no one was hurt and we can laugh about how close to death and stupid we were.”

Saunders also said that the amateur fishermen got the hook out of the octopus and released it back into the water. Credit: Ross Saunders via Storyful