Swimming on vacation on the west coast of Australia has ended in a painful octopus “whipping” – and video footage that went viral. Geologist and writer Lance Karlson were about to take a swim near the resort he and his family were staying in Geographe Gulf, on the southwest coast of Australia, when he saw what he thought was the tail of a stingray that emerged from the water and attacking a seagull.
After walking closer to his two-year-old daughter, he found it was an octopus and took the video, which showed the animal in shallow water to take a sudden attack in the direction of Karlson with his tentacles. “Octopus attacked us, which was a real surprise,” Karlson said in comments sent by email to Reuters. After setting up the sun protection tent for his family on the beach, Karlsson wore glasses and went to the water alone to explore crab shells’ collection, which he believed to be abandoned by dead sea creatures.
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When he swam, he felt another whip on his arm – followed by stronger stings across his neck and back. “My glasses become foggy, water suddenly bleak, and I remember being surprised and confused,” Karlson added in the email.
Karlson said he ran back to the beach and looked at the trail of tentacles on his arms, neck, and back. Because he did not have vinegar – a treatment of his choice for sea animal stings – he poured Cola to the affected area, which worked well to stop the sting.
Footage Karlson posted with comments: “The angriest octopus in Gulf Geographe!” was widely shared on social media platforms. He said he was worried, but there was no hostility against the animal. “This is clearly the octopus’ domain,” he said. “I’m worried that people will see octopus in a different light. They are extraordinary creatures that clearly have some strong emotions (just like us)!”
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