Collecting Sea Shells Results in Dangerous Surprise for Toddler
Sometimes it's just better to leave mother nature alone. And, if recent stories about blue-ringed octopus are any indication, combing the beach for sea shells can be a dangerous habit.
Take the recent story of a young girl from Surrey Hills who discovered an octopus while cleaning her prized collection of shells.
Six-year-old Holly Smith had spent the day with her family at Point Lonsdale beach collecting seashells, a simple hobby enjoyed by hundreds of people every day.
With her bucket full of shells, she headed to her Surrey Hills home where she began washing the salt water from the shells in the bath. In the process of scrubbing a periwinkle shell, she received what could have been a nasty surprise when a small dead blue-ringed octopus tumbled out of the shell. Her father Justin Smith was alarmed at the discovery and will now be supervising his daughter’s hobby much more carefully from now on.
Earlier this year an 11 year old girl from Anglesea in Victoria was bitten by a blue-ringed octopus while she was playing in rock pools. After she was stung, her throat began to contract and she suffered breathing difficulties. He family needed to call an ambulance and the girl was then flown to a hospital in Sydney for treatment.
These incidents have prompted Alex Giannuzzi from Queensland’s Marine Discovery Centre to urge everyone to take more care around marine environments. Her advice is to “still go out and enjoy learning, but to make sure we can see clearly what we are touching.”
In my opinion shells are used by many creatures for homes or shelter so it is a good idea to leave these and other objects on the beach.
People should take more care while enjoying a day at the beach after two incidences of children coming into contact with the deadly blue-ringed octopus. Although it is only small in size the creature will bite humans if provoked and is considered to be amongst the world’s most venomous animals.
Found commonly in Australian waters, the tiny blue-ringed octopus hunts at night for food, and can often be found hiding in shells or other dark quiet places during daylight hours. People are being asked to take more care while enjoying a day at the beach after two incidences of children coming into contact with the deadly blue-ringed octopus.