A video displaying an octopus lashing out at a tourist on a beach in March in Western Australia has been trending. Lance Karlson, a geologist and author, was about to go for a dip near the resort where he and his family were staying on March 19. He then spotted what he thought was a stingray's tail striking a seagull.
The event has been recounted as a rare occurrence. The man labeled it as the "angriest octopus" he had ever seen. Karlson was able to take a quick video of the said mad octopus and posted it via Instagram.
Karlson was staying at a Dunsborough resort in a coastal town in Western Australia. He was staying with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Around two weeks ago, he remarked he took his daughter for a walk on a beach near their hotel when they saw the tentacles on an octopus lashing at a seagull, reported Daily News.
The octopus lurched toward them, constricting for a brief moment. Then it unfurled its deceptively long arms in an abrupt snap. Karlson reacted, "Oh, golly," with slight apparent panic at the near miss, reported The New York Times.
Octopuses are regarded by biologists to be some of the most intelligent invertebrates. They are typically playful and inquisitive. The Australian author witnessed another side to the marine creature when the octopus defended its home rather forcefully.
Karlson returned to the water, but the octopus located him and lashed at him for the second time. According to Karlson, "My goggles were too fogged to see what had happened and I swam back to shore in pain. The imprints of the tentacles quickly formed raised marks across my skin," reported Fox News.
He said the incident was a "real shock." Following his setting up a sun protection tent for his family on the beach, Karlson put on goggles and swam alone to explore a collection of crab shells, which believed were left by Dead Sea creatures. As he swam, he felt the second whip across his arm. This was followed by a more forceful sting across his upper back and neck.
His goggles became fogged, and the water was abruptly murky. He recalled being surprised and confused. Karlson captioned on Instagram that upon going after a seagull, the octopus then decided his daughter and him deserved a lashing. He added he then discovered its home amongst a crab graveyard, where it came after him for the second time.
Karlson and his family swiftly packed up following the event. They went back to their hotel. Karlson knew that something acidic would lessen the sting as he was a former surf lifesaver. The whip of the octopus' tentacles left visible marks on his neck.
Karlson said the sting was not particularly painful. However, the impact was more of the shock of what transpired and fear from not being able to see.
He regretted his initial subdued reaction, according to him on Friday. As soon as he posted the footage of the octopus on Instagram, it later attracted viewers far and wide along with international media coverage.