We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Are Octopuses Poisonous?

Scientists have continued to look into whether octopuses are poisonous. Modern research indicates that all types of octopuses contain traces of venom proteins in their bodies, although there is some difference of opinion on which octopuses are actually dangerous for humans. There is general agreement that the venom produced by the blue-ringed octopus is definitely poisonous to humans. Research into other types of octupuses has continued.

More facts about octopuses and venom:

  • The blue-ringed octopus, commonly found in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and along the coast of Australia, carries enough poison to kill 26 adult humans in a matter of minutes.

  • The name for the blue-ringed octopus comes from the series of blue rings on its body. When the octopus is at rest, the rings are barely distinguishable. When threatened or in pursuit of prey, the rings become a bright blue, indicating that the creature is about to strike.

  • The bite of the blue-ringed octopus is similar to that of a bee sting, involving very little pain. Within minutes, however, the venom injected during the bite begins to paralyze the victim's nervous system. There is no known antidote, so the victim's only hope for survival is to be placed on an artificial respirator until the poison has passed out of his or her body.

Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Chmander — On May 26, 2014

The third bullet point is interesting yet slightly terrifying. It's interesting to know that their bites are similar to bee stings. However, it's scary to know that there are no known antidotes for the poison.

By Euroxati — On May 25, 2014

Wow, before reading this article, I didn't know that octopi were venomous. That's an interesting piece of information.

@Krunchyman - On the other hand, I don't think octopi are very dangerous, especially when it comes to humans. From my experience, they tend to keep to themselves and generally don't bother us, as they go after the smaller sea creatures. However, as the article says, their venom is definitely poisonous to humans. You should never provoke one just to see if you can get a reaction.

By Krunchyman — On May 24, 2014

When it comes to octopi being dangerous, I've always wondered, are they only dangerous to fish and other sea creatures, or are they dangerous to other people as well? After all, when you stop and think about it, octopi attacks aren't very common, especially when compared to similar sea creatures, such as jellyfish.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.