A dad-of-two had a narrow brush with death after he unwittingly picked up a lethal sea creature while on a family stroll.
Aaron Pix was rushed to hospital after he was attacked by a blue-ringed octopus.
A sting from the venomous mollusc can lead to paralysis and death within hours if it is left untreated.
The 42-year-old says the crustacean had been hiding in a harmless shell he had picked up from the beach earlier in the day.
Pix and his family were enjoying a Christmas Eve walk on Quindalup beach, near Perth, Western Australia, when the incident happened.
Daughter Sophie, 11, had handed him a pretty shell she had found while swimming which he then popped into his short pockets.
He told PerthNow : “When I pulled the shells out at home to clean them, there was this blue-ringed octopus in my hand.
“I freaked out and then I found another one in my pocket with its tentacles on my leg.
“It must have been on my leg for 15 or 20 minutes.
“We googled it and read that the bite is non-painful, so you may not even know you’ve been bitten, and it can be fatal within minutes.”
An ambulance was then called for Mr. Pix, who had begun to feel unwell.
Medics say it is likely that he had been brushed with the octopus’s tentacle.
He said: “It is pretty scary to think I could have been bitten and died in front of my kids on Christmas Eve.”
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