(The teen was bitten by a deadly blue-ringed octopus. Credit: 7NEWS)

A teenager, Jacob Eggington, was urgently taken to the hospital after being bitten by a blue-ringed octopus while searching for shells along the shores of Shoalwater in Perth's southern suburbs last Sunday.

Following a minor and initially painless bite on his leg, the Palmyra man's health rapidly deteriorated. Paramedics had to transport him off the beach on a stretcher, and he underwent more than six hours of treatment at Rockingham General Hospital. Eggington had been collecting shells for his niece, and the dangerous sea creature became apparent only when he tried to show the toddler his findings.

(Image: Anthony Sefuentes/Shutterstock.com)

According to marine scientist Jennifer Verduin, a bite from a blue-ringed octopus has the potential to be fatal within 30 minutes. Emphasizing their prevalence at Perth beaches, the professor revealed that she never ventures into the water without wearing a pair of reef shoes. Verduin noted that these octopuses are adept at concealing themselves, making them infrequently visible, but present in the area.

Blue-ringed octopuses are typically no more than 12cm in length and are usually adept at camouflage. However, when agitated or disturbed, they swiftly display vibrant blue rings.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions states that a bite from a blue-ringed octopus does not typically cause pain, and puncture marks might not be visibly apparent. The department advises that individuals bitten may experience numbness, along with potential difficulty in speaking or seeing. In the event of a bite, the recommended actions include keeping the injured limb still, applying direct pressure to the wound, and promptly seeking urgent medical assistance.

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