Sunday 18 August 2019

Watch: 'I felt one of the most dangerous things in the world' - Irish tourist unknowingly posed with deadly octopus

John Paul Lennon with a blue-ringed octopus on his arm. Courtesy of 7 News Brisbane
John Paul Lennon with a blue-ringed octopus on his arm. Courtesy of 7 News Brisbane

Niamh Lynch

An Irish tourist in Australia got the shock of his life after trying to get a photograph with an octopus - which turned out to be one of the most deadly marine animals in the world.

John Paul Lennon (24) was fishing in Bundaberg, a city 360km north of Brisbane, when he caught an octopus and wanted to get a photo with the creature.

But what John Paul didn’t know was this was a blue-ringed octopus, which carries enough venom to kill 26 people. A single bite could result in paralysis and death.

John Paul, from Co. Down, told 7 News Brisbane “I didn’t know at the time, I was asking everyone was it anything dangerous and everybody told me no so I thought it would have been alright to get a photo.”

It was only when John Paul showed videos of him attempting to get the perfect shot to a friend that he realised how close to death he was.

“It’s been on my mind constantly just thinking what could’ve happened. I guess I’m lucky I didn’t keep it on my arm for the photo.”

John Paul had been travelling around Australia for a number of months before his deathly encounter.

“I’ve probably come across something on a documentary or something before about the sort of octopuses out here but I didn’t cop on at the time.”

“I know now, it’s a lesson learnt. Thinking about it now, I felt one of the most dangerous things in the world, it’s pretty cool.”

John Paul’s friend Ross Saunders, who shot the video, said: “We realised it was an octopus, didn’t realise what kind of octopus it was.”

“He’s (John Paul) been trying to get pictures with all animals, like koalas and all that kind of stuff and he wanted a picture with the octopus on his arm.”

“We’re all in sort of shock.”

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News