January 12, 2010
A six-year-old Melbourne girl's weekend hobby has almost turned deadly.
Holly Smith was washing a shell she'd collected at Point Lonsdale beach on Sunday when a blue-ringed octopus fell into her bathtub.
The Geelong Advertiser reports the girl was washing a large, curled periwinkle shell when the deadly octopus fell into the bath.
The blue-ringed octopus is recognised as one of the world's most venomous animals and can cause paralysis in humans within minutes.
The girl's father, Justin Smith, was understandably alarmed by the incident.
"It was just a complete surprise that my daughter's hobby, which I'd been watching in a relaxed manner, turned out to be one that in future I'll need to be watching much more carefully," he told the Geelong Advertiser.
Holly told Channel Seven, "The octopus just plopped out."
"It would have poisoned us," she said.
Holly says she'll keep collecting shells but will be more careful, and is taking the preserved octopus into school for 'show and tell'.
Her mum reiterated that it's a good warning.
Blue-ringed octopuses are common throughout Australia and rest in quiet places before feeding at night.
A bite from the octopus is often relatively painless and may go unnoticed.