Author: Dani Mulyana
If a friend were to ask you about dangerous sea creatures, what would come first to your mind? A 20-foot great white shark with big jaws and razor-sharp teeth? A monstrous kraken that would sink a pirate ship? Or maybe a Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish with its long and deadly venomous tentacles? All these creatures are indeed dangerous in their own way (even though the Kraken is totally fictional) but the most dangerous creature in the ocean is not what you expect and is nowhere near as big, nor anywhere near as ferocious.
The sea’s most dangerous animal is no bigger than your thumb and carries enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes. What’s more scary is that their bite is sometimes painless, so the victim may not even realize they have been bitten until it’s too late, as the venom courses through their veins causing heart and respiratory failure that can lead to death.
Can you guess what it is?
If you guessed the Blue Ringed Octopus, then you are right! Ranging between 12 and 20mm its body is covered with beautiful, psychedelic blue rings that can light up when they are feel threatened, thus giving it its name. Despite the danger, the good news is that they are very shy animals and usually just swim away or look for a hiding spot when you get too close. As a result, there are very few incidents with these beautiful shy creatures.
Their habitat is the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean, where they live in soft sandy areas and often hide in shells, under rocks or marine debris. Thanks to its small size and amazing camouflage, the Blue Ringed Octopus is one of the most prized objects for the underwater photographer.
There are a few dive sites here in Indonesia that offer a good chance to see one, one of them being Moyo island near Sumbawa, one of the stops on SeaTrek’s eight-day Dragons, Whale Sharks, and Corals cruises. Moyo has many beautiful dive spots and is popular among scuba divers who want to come and see the Blue Ringed Octopus.
So, if are lucky enough to spot one during your next adventure with SeaTrek, just remember to keep your distance, do not touch, and let your tour leader and fellow travellers know so that everyone can have a look at this very beautiful, yet incredibly deadly creature.