Diver Gives Deadly Octopus a Look at Itself in the Mirror

Wildlife videographer Steven Kuiter had a close encounter with a southern blue-ringed octopus in Blairgowrie, Victoria, in early October. Kuiter’s video shows the octopus slinking along the ocean floor before Kuiter places a mirror in front of it.

Kuiter posted the video to his Facebook page on November 1 with the caption: “Here’s a closer look at one of Australia’s most iconic creatures.”

Blue-ringed octopuses are widely feared in Australia due to their having salivary glands containing a bacteria that produces the potentially fatal chemical tetrodotoxin.

National Geographic reported in March 2018, that “at least three deaths in Australia have been attributed to blue-ringed octopuses.” Kuiter though doesn’t buy into the “stigma,” surrounding the octopus. “They’re fascinating creatures with unique biology,” he said in his Facebook version of the video.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science notes: “Many more people have come close to death as a result of the bite of the blue-ringed octopus. The paralysis that overcomes the victim is only to their voluntary muscles; they remain fully conscious. Death usually occurs as a result of lack of oxygen. Thus, if mouth to mouth resuscitation is given to a victim of a blue-ringed octopus, they should fully recover.”

The moment Kuiter places the mirror in front of octopus happens around four minutes into this footage. Credit: Steven Kuiter via Storyful