A deadly blue-ringed octopus was found in a restaurant meal served to a diner in China. According to South China Morning (SCMP), the man narrowly avoided death by taking a picture of his meal and posting it on social media, where a science blogger pointed out the toxic animal.
Blue-ringed octopuses have a paralysing venom that can cause the respiratory system to shut down within minutes and lead to paralysis or death. The marine animal gets its name from the bright blue rings that appear when it is threatened.
According to SCMP, the man visited a restaurant in China's Guangdong province and was served several small octopuses in a basket of crushed ice. When he noticed blue rings on one of the octopuses, he took a picture of his meal and sent it back to the kitchen. The man posted a photo on the Chinese social media Weibo and asked, "Can I eat it? I am waiting for your reply. A bit anxious."
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Science blogger Bo Wu Za Zhi then saw the picture and responded a few minutes later. "It is a leopard-striped octopus or blue-ringed octopus. Its toxicity is very strong and won't be neutralised when heated," he replied on Weibo, as per the outlet. "We've seen cases where blue-ringed octopuses are, on rare occasions, accidentally mixed in with ordinary octopuses sold at markets, although the possibility of this happening is very low," he added.
The diner later responded to concerned social media users that he had sent the plate back. "I haven't eaten it. It has been taken away from the table," he wrote.
Meanwhile, according to The Independent, earlier this week, another Weibo user from Shenzhen claimed to have bought a blue-ringed octopus along with octopus products at a Sam's Club in Futian. But the Shenzhen market watchdog said that it had checked all supermarkets and their suppliers in the city and did not find any blue-ringed octopus.