The blue-ringed octopus: a beautiful but dangerous creature (Watch Video)


The third in an exciting new series of blogs introducing some of the amazing marine life you can encounter at Magic Resorts in the Philippines…

One of the most popular octopuses that’s high on almost every divers’ bucket lists, is the blue-ringed octopus. The aptly named creature gets its name from the blue rings on its skin. These creatures usually turn out smaller than everyone’s expectations, but don’t underestimate the power of these critters!

Did you know that the blue-ringed octopus is actually one of the most venomous animals in the world? You definitely don’t want to make this creature angry. So how do you know that you have gone too far and annoyed the octopus? This creature will warn you! Usually a dark brown to yellow color with blue patches or rings, it will turn darker and the blue rings will become brighter and brighter! Though usually shy in nature, if they are stepped on or angered, they will bite!

This little octopus produces two types of venom – one for protection and one for hunting. The one for protection is produced by bacteria that live in its salivary glands. The tetrodotoxin it produces is the same deadly toxin that pufferfishes have. Experiments show that one single blue-ringed octopus has enough venom to fatally paralyze 26 adult humans… at the same time! Unfortunately, there is no antivenom yet and treatment requirements include life-support machines such as artificial ventilation.

There is not just one type of blue-ringed octopus though, there are at least 10 different species which can be found in tidal pools and reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

During the night, these little octopuses will search for food. They tend to hunt for crabs, clams, shrimps, small fish, etc. But they also have to be wary of their predators, mainly eels.

Fun fact: when a blue-ringed octopus loses a tentacle, it will grow back automatically!

Come and dive at Magic Oceans and let the guides show you these docile blue-ringed octopuses in Anda, Bohol. The guides will help you capture that perfect picture, and you can witness how the little octopus goes about its daily life.

Some general facts!

  • Blue-ringed octopuses can have up to 50 – 60 blue rings on their skin.
  • They are roughly 5 – 8 inches in size.
  • The bite of a blue-ringed octopus is usually reported as painless
  • They tend to have a life expectancy of up to 2 years and lay 50-100 eggs when they mate.

Visit Magic Oceans Anda, Bohol and Magic Island Moalboal, Cebu… find out more at

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Magic Resorts Philippines

Magic Resorts Philippines

Magic Resorts Philippines has two dive resorts: Magic Oceans Anda, Bohol and Magic Island Moalboal, Cebu. Have the Magic experience in two different locations. Rely on the same atmosphere, service and standards during every vacation! Blogs are supported by Marlon Managa, Dive Master and Marine Biologist at Magic Oceans.

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